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Mum incensed after spending morning picking colourful items out of sand

Claire Hickey said she'd never seen the items before, and was furious after finding out what they were.

A frustrated mum has urged people to be more respectful when visiting the nation's beaches, after she "spent all morning" sifting through sand at a popular swimming spot picking out rubber children's toys from the shoreline.

Claire Hickey brought her kids to Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay earlier this week to enjoy the summer sun. She said she was horrified when one of her children came up to her presenting small, round rubber items asking: "What are these?"

Mum fumes after shocking sand discovery

Shocked, Hickey said she'd never seen the items before, which look similar to small hair ties, or the end of a balloon. "My kids were playing towards the break in one of the pool areas in the sand [when they found the product] and they had no idea what they were."

Claire Hickey said she was furious after finding between 50 to 60 loom bands at Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay.
Claire Hickey said she was furious after finding between 50 to 60 small rubber items at Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay, NSW. Source: Supplied.

When the mum went over to investigate, looking through the sand, she was astonished at the sheer volume of the rubber toys that were embedded in the sand.

Easily 50 to 60 of the items embedded in sand

"There were like, a lot. We picked up probably like 50 to 60 — it was crazy," she recalled. "There were so many and deep in the sand too. I told my kids, I just said, 'look, let's try and find them all'.

"My kids were sifting through the sand and we really just found so many." Posting the confusing find on social media, Hickey said she soon found out what the items were after a response from another parent — "Loom Bands".

Claire Hickey said she was furious after finding between 50 to 60 loom bands at Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay.
The mum said she spent "all morning" looking for the discarded items in the sand. Source: Supplied.

"I've never bought them for my kids but I looked it up and I think basically, they're just these little rubber bands, and kids make bracelets out of them. You can buy them on Amazon for like 1000 for $5 or something," she said.

"It is crazy. I was so angry when I was picking them up. I just thought 'who would do that? Who would let their kids bring these things to the beach? Who would buy them even?' They go right into landfill."

A 'mega loom band kit' sold at Kmart. Source: Kmart.
A 'mega loom band kit' sold at Kmart. Source: Kmart.

Do better at our beaches, mum says

Pointing to the fact that not only are they a choking hazard, but they're also easily swallowable by animals, Hickey implored families to leave the toys at home when heading out for a day at the beach.

"People need to be mindful about what they bring to our beaches," she said, adding that as she sifted through the sand, she also found more plastic rubbish, which she suspected was from the same group.

"Think about what you're purchasing, how long will your kids get out of this toy? That's going to stay on our planet for however long — and be mindful of what you're bringing to our beaches."

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