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Preserving Paradise: Investigating Beach Littering Behaviors and Developing Sustainable Solutions in Coastal Nicaragua

Every year, billions of pounds of trash are littered on beaches all over the world, especially in developing countries. In Nicaragua, there has been little research conducted to understand the trash problem that coastal communities are afflicted by. Discovering why people litter regardless of waste bin accessibility and who may be the primary culprit is vital in creating sustainable solutions. This research was conducted through observation of beach behavior and cleanup efforts and informal community member interviews. Results suggest that due to poor access to proper education and waste management, recreational beachgoers abandon trash, and the local fishing economy traditionally does not prioritize beach health. This new understanding of the underlying causes of beach pollution in coastal Nicaragua allows sustainable solutions to be created and implemented with cultural sensitivity.