When an hour-long walk at Eastern beach turned into an impromptu rubbish collecting trip Elizabeth McLaren was shocked by what she gathered.
The Bucklands Beach resident is a regular visitor to the beach and on a recent walk started picking up the odd bit of broken glass.
But, like with eating chocolate, once she started she found it hard to stop and in just a short time had filled a shopping bag with broken bottles and shards of jagged glass.
A repeat trip a few days later saw two more bags gathered, another dismaying result.
Now Mrs McLaren is imploring the community who use the beach to be more responsible with how it disposes of glass and the Auckland Council to strongly enforce the liquor ban in place.
She says the area around the southern end of the beach, a popular spot for youngsters to play at, was particularly bad.
"It's always been a problem, I've noticed quite a bit of glass before, but on this day it just struck me how much there was," she says.
"I thought I would pick some up as I walked around and as I did the bag got full.
"The next day I went to do the same thing and pick some up and I thought ‘this is hideous'."
She says she collected not just sea smoothed pieces but mostly dangerous shards.
The beach is a popular spot for families and young people and Mrs McLaren is worried children will be injured.
"They could end up really badly gashing their feet.
"There were half bottles with jagged edges sat on their bottoms in the sand. It wouldn't take much for kids or dogs to cut themselves."
A recent Sustainable Coastlines-run beach clean up yielded many sacks of garbage from the area but it appears to quickly replenish.
Mrs McLaren believes groups of people drinking in and around the reserve are responsible.
A small park on the cliff between Eastern Beach and Mellons Bay is one such spot
"Not many people know about it, it's on top of the bluff and I suspect people go in that area and are possibly biffing bottles over the bluff."
Eastern Beach Action Network member and nearby resident Sandra McGill agrees the area is something of a hangout for illicit boozers, despite the liquor ban.
"I'm not surprised, there is quite a lot of drinking down here," she says. "It happens frequently. Police can't monitor it all the time so they get away with it."
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