“Sea glass: is the ocean’s way of telling us that if you give it something breakable, it will turn it into something beautiful.”
Sea glasses fascinate me. It is called a reverse gem because it is from man-made trash but are crafted by the ocean waves. While diamonds and gold are from nature but are designed and polished by humans.
So what makes sea glasses interesting and beautiful?
Swept out to sea by the tide, shards of broken glass turn into a natural frosted glass from months to years of weathering the ocean currents.
With the saltwater’s pH level, it loses its luster and transparency, becoming opaque and frosted in appearance over time. The shard’s sharp edges, having been persistently tumbled through the waves, becomes smoothed and rounded.
When I found many sea glasses on the shores of Apo Island, I was happy but suddenly became sad and sorry upon noticing that they are everywhere by the beach.
I was able to collect beautiful ones in some beaches such as Coron and Siargao but they are scanty, few and far between. Unlike in Apo Island, I was surprised to learn that it’s rich with sea glasses of different shapes and interesting colors. You won’t spend much time in treasure hunting for beach gems here.
At the other side of the island, we spotted many trash bottles lying in the deserted rocky area and that explains why lots of sea glasses are found. Most likely they are washed ashore coming all the way from the main island or even farther than Negros Island.
I noticed ones made from Tanduay and Emperador bottles, the popular hard liquor drinks in the Philippines. Their embossed brand marks are still obvious on a few sea glasses. The green ones could be Sprite bottles and the brown ones could be beer bottles by origin.
It was disappointing and I could only hope that more people learn how to throw their trash properly. It’s simple.
To me it was not only eye-opening, it was a call-to-action, pushing me to do something and help in my own little ways. Picking those trash bottles will not solve this widespread issue in the long run. As long as irresponsible garbage disposal is being practiced, it will continue to be a problem.
But I believe spreading awareness will reduce it significantly over time. So here I am writing, asking fellow humans to take a moment to listen to the universe telling us “don’t get too drunk”. Pay attention. Never let yourself become completely unaware in leaving nature with too much work.
Look how the ocean waves transformed glass bottles into such beautiful beach gems. The ocean is doing a great job in recycling trash. Kudos!