Clean the Beach

....and Protect Your Waters!

Top 5 Items Collected International Coastal Cleanup

September 20th marks Ocean Conservancy's 29th International Coastal Cleanup

Whether on the beach or 100 miles offshore, it seems there's no place in the world unaffected by plastic trash. While many of these items can't be traced to their source, it's now well known that single-use plastic items make up the majority of trash found in the ocean. 

This year marks the 29th anniversary that the Ocean Conservancy has organized a massive cleanup effort around the globe to help remove and track marine debris that washes ashore. This year most events will take place on Saturday, September 20th. In partnership with hundreds of organization around the world, Ocean Conservancy not only coordinates this massive trash removal, but tallies the data so we can answer important questions such as where marine debris comes from and how we can stop it.

Click here to find an event near you!

Data Data Data

By collecting information about what is found on the beach, and not just removing it, the International Coastal Cleanup is the largest global snapshot entirely focused on the various sources of marine debris littering coasts and waterways around the world.

Volunteers are the key to success. In 2013, more than 648,000 volunteers removed 12,329,332 pounds of trash. The number one item? You guessed it: cigarette butts. Other common items include plastic grocery bags, food wrappers and single use plastic bottles. For the full rundown on items collected (which even includes a wedding dress) click here.

Can't make it to a cleanup?

If you find yourself busy on September 20th, we still recommend checking out the organizations that are hosting cleanups in your area. Many of these organizations host multiple cleanups throughout the year.

Another great way to help is vow to not use the top 10 trash items found on beaches. The best way to prevent marine debris in the ocean is to never create the problem in the first place! To learn more read our past Ocean Watch article: Plastic Pollution and its Solution.