Running out of sea glass "mermaids' tears" seems impossible, and a little sad, like running out of seashells. But one man's collectible is another man's trash, in this case quite literally. Sea glass is essentially pretty litter, broken bottles and jars abandoned on the beach or heaved overboard years or decades or even centuries ago, then smoothed by the ocean's movements.
Attitudes toward oceanfront property and litter in general, have changed dramatically. Americans' new found reluctance to hurl junk into the sea has limited the supply of fresh glass, and with the arrival of plastic, glass is a much less popular packaging material than it used to be. There have been sweeping efforts to clean up existing beach garbage, even the collectible kind. In the years to come sea glass may be a relic of the past.
I'm currently work on a sea glass collection for my Etsy shop. The sea glass featured in the designs pictured here came from the Caribbean Seashore of Puerto Rico. I love sea glass and I will be crafting several more items this week.