There’s a lot of beauty on the East Coast Trail, but there is also this:

The Plastic Forest - Sugarloaf Path

The Plastic Forest – Sugarloaf Path

Of all the East Coast Trail paths, the negative consequences of human presence are most evident on Sugarloaf Path near St. John’s.

This beautiful trail follows the coastline, as all trails do, with the trouble being that this particular trail has the bad luck of passing the St. John’s landfill along the way.

This area nicknamed ‘The Plastic Forest’ is just a small section of the trail but it’s hard to miss and gives all the hikers who pass it a frown. This landfill junk is picked up by the wind and blown onto the trail where it gets caught in the trees, or blows clear into the ocean to bother some far away sea creature.

Wind-blown garbage on the cliffs - Sugarloaf Path

Wind-blown garbage on the cliffs – Sugarloaf Path

As you can see in this second picture the refuse is not just confined to the forest edge along the landfill, there’s also plenty of garbage that is blown onto the cliffs, which becomes very hard to clean up unless you want to risk life and limbs.

So, what can we do about all this?

ECTA advises saying “No” to plastic bags:

Say no to plastic bags - Sugarloaf Path

Say NO to plastic bags – Sugarloaf Path