Dr. Plastic Picker – A Personal Plastic-Picking Blog: Fighting Ocean Plastic Pollution One Piece At a Time
A man-made bay, where there once was a marsh. Photo credit by drplasticpicer.

December 16, 2019

by drplasticpicker

There once was a tidal marsh, wetlands rich with sea grass, insects and shorebirds.

1852 United States Army Corps created a dike

1946 dredging began

1962 dredging ended

16 long years, the humans worked

Expensive houses with Sail Bay views, beautiful bike path, beach volleyball court

10,500,000 for a 4 bedroom, 4 bath in 4,000 square feet

Plastic swan in your zillow add, plastic swan that is not alive

drplasticpicker came looking for plastic

few pieces here and there, cigarette butts

one gum wrapper floating back and forth 1.5 cm, but drplasticpicker could not reach

the bay is dead

no sounds of birds, no insects, no kelp

walking along the manmade shore, I could not hear the earth

I could not hear the animals, but I do hear the earth

she whimpers, whimpers as she is able to move the bay’s water only 1.5cm

she tries to push the candy wrapper toward me, but she is too weak

I cry. I am drplasticpicker and I cry.

I run back to the ocean, to the beach. The beach is strewn with plastic but there is still life. Still strong waves as mother nature slams human plastic debris at my feet.

Christmas Tree at the super fancy Newport Beach Hotel. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

December 15, 2019

by drplasticpicker

I am writing to you from the far off lands of Newport Beach, California. Mr. Plastic Picker and I are at a corporate meeting for our organization to celebrate 10 years.  We are staying at a super fancy hotel where they have valet parking at $30 a night, but the hotel room is covered as are our meals for the day’s programs.  Ten years ago when we started with this organization, the corporate rah-rah and indoctrination used to scare me. Others would ask me half in jest, “Did you drink the kool-aid?” But in all seriousness, all large organizations have similar models and I do believe that ours is more egalitarian. I do believe that here independent thinking is encouraged if you work through the system. I have been able to enact positive changes as a middle manager. But I remain in my heart drplasticpicker wanting to take my own path. But I am here, and I will partake and enjoy. We will sit with our friends who started as young physicians with us together 10 years ago and hear about how the corporation will take care of us.  But I will be thinking the entire time, how can I take care of the earth?  Because in the end, we cannot rely only on large organizations but also must make the changes within ourselves. 


Beautiful cookies in a tin. No plastic.

December 14, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Today our middle management meeting was cancelled. We have iPhones with our meeting schedule on the iPhone calendar. There was a strike through the CANCELLED MEETING so I thought the CANCELLED MEETING was cancelled, and therefore we had a meeting. I showed up. No one was there. I was happy it was cancelled but did vaguely think slightly annoyed “If I had known, I could have picked up more plastic.” Today marks the moment when I reached my 100th instagram follower (real followers not fake followers, I did not pay anyone to boost nothing!) and 100th bag of ocean bound plastic collected, and 70th blog post. It’s been a busy 3 months!


Our destination. Christmas Tree at the end of the town pier. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

December 12, 2019

by drplasticpicker

It seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes our family chooses “to do nothing” in order to do something. Last spring, I was lucky to accompany our hospital’s residency program on a trip to the Andes Mountains in Peru. I was able to fulfill one of my dreams as the attending pediatrician and helped >400 children of the indigenous Quechuan people. It was a trip and 2 weeks that I will never forget.


Found this Beanie Boo Pug on the beach. He got a lot of likes on Instagram @drplasticpicker. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

December 11, 2019

by drplasticpicker

This is the third post in this weekly series. Five reasons to be Hopeful, has become a favorite part of blogging for me. Every day brings another dire ecological warning. Then when I read other frivolous news stories, I despair thinking why are not others panicking? But then I look back at my Plastic Picking Totals https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/and Donations Page https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/– and I realize that all I can do is move forward bag by bag, day by day, blogpost by blogpost. This is how things are achieved and I have hope. Eternal hope.


December 10, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Wow amazing. More of Dr. JP’s creations. Photo credit by Dr. JP.

The above stainless steel water bottles were personalized by Dr. JP who teaches multiple levels of advanced physics at a local high school. When I saw these pictures on his Facebook Feed, I immediately asked him if I could use them for this blog and he was kind enough to readily agree. He wrote, “I think in 20 years, we will all look back on how much plastic and styrofoam we used and think, ‘What in the hell were we thinking?!? A disposable bottle every time we got thirsty?’ ” Indeed Dr. JP, you are so wise.


Four rolls artfully positioned in front of my mother’s bamboo frosted class bathroom shower door. Their bathrooms are super clean. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.com.

December 9, 2019

by drplasticpicker

When I started blogging at drplasticpicker.com, it was the same time that the “Who Gives A Crap?” http://whogivesacrap.org/toilet paper Facebook ads were popping up. It was a very cute slightly chubby brown haired woman shashaying with a big carboard box with the catchy yet slightly profane name, “Who Gives a Cr@p?” (I put the @ in for a, it doesn’t seem right to write even a slightly bad word in a pediatric blog). I was never shy, so after only writing 10 blog posts and maybe a few hundred page views – I emailed their company asking for free toilet paper samples. I was already thinking about switching to a more sustainble toilet paper alternative anyway.


The ocean was vomiting up sunglasses the day after a big storm. I also found a humanized My Little Pony Apple-Jacks plastic toy figurine. I artistically draped her with sunglasses. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

Dr. Plastic Picker is a “A Personal Plastic-Picking Blog: Fighting Ocean Plastic Pollution One Piece At a Time .” Staying true to this mission, I am here to work against the tide of plastic pollution. The day I found those 9 sunglasses and Humanized My Little Pony Plastic Toy Figure, was literally a wave of plastic washed onto the shores of the half mile of Pacific Ocean coast that I transverse. There were four local residents of our town who just happened to be on the beach that morning also, and we turned to each other. We knew each other because we see eachother on the beaches in the mornings usually in our own contemplative worlds. But that morning we held heavy clothing items together that were weighed down by seaweed, sand and ocean water. These items required two people to carry them the long stretch to the trash bins. Together we heaved those items into the bins. And those 9 sunglasses above we collected in the little pile together.


Dr. Plastic Picker’s sister’s house. My nephew loves loves loves his home’s plastic inflatable Christmas display. Photo credit drplasticpicker’s sister.

December 7, 2019

by drplasticpicker

It has started. It is December 7, 2019. Eighteen more days until Christmas and now commences the mad rush. I feel it at clinic. Parents have that dazed look in their eyes as I ask them how things are going. Work, school and family social demands pile up. Dr. Plastic Picker went to my first work holiday party last night. I tried to deliver good comprehensive care to my 28th patient of the day who tested positive for Influenzae A, and still make it to a 6pm work party that was 45 minute drive away. I failed. Took care of the family first, which is always the right thing to do. I rushed home to cleanse my face and my blepharitis-plaqued eyes, put on a clean layer of foundation and pencil in my eyebrows that disappeared in the late 90s. Arrived there at 650pm. Tis the season.




Yes! Drplasticpicker learned how to create a meme-poem. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.com.

December 7, 2019

An original poem by Charlotte, age 8.

Pollutes the Earth

Littered all over the beach.

Always there.

Strong but dangerous.

Takes up space.

Icky to the core.

Creates trash.

Another poem for the same poetess entitled “HELP” https://drplasticpicker.com/help/