Coconuts banned on Rio de Janeiro beaches

If it’s your dream to go to Rio de Janeiro, and walk Copacabana Beach while drinking from a coconut, here’s a reality check for you: you have to nix the coconut.

Starting December 1st, coconuts will be banned from being sold by beach vendors in an effort to clean up Rio’s beaches in time for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Officials make a good argument. Who knew that 30 tons of husks have to be picked up daily? And if they’re not collected, they attract rats.

But critics point out that husks are natural and biodegradable. And coconut water will still be available for sale, but only in bottles and cans — personally, I’d rather get it from the source and not have the man-made waste. Maybe there’s a way to step-up the beach cleaning, while still making the coconuts available?

Let’s see if Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes changes his mind. He’s offered to rethink the ban if beach-goers do a better job at picking up after themselves (although obviously it won’t be coconuts that they’re picking up, because they’ll have already been banned.)