Published on CBS News by David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel
Volunteers also collect all the caps that are found all over the
beach and donate them to the non-profit Caps of Love that takes them.
(Lourdes Ferris / Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful / May 21, 2014)
BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- A car door, a mailbox and a set of plastic
vampire teeth were among the items picked up off Palm Beach County
beaches as part of a worldwide event to clean coastlines and waterways.
total of 17,431 pounds trash were collected in Palm Beach County during
the International Coastal Cleanup, an annual event run last summer and
fall by the Ocean Conservancy, according to a tally made public
The most common items were cigarette butts, with
11,463 collected, followed by bottle caps, food wrappers, straws,
bottles and plastic bags.
Also collected were 118 condoms, 28 diapers, 82 syringes and 138 tampons or tampon applicators.
A total of 3,240 volunteers walked beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and cleaned up many inland areas as well.
take the position that anyplace in Palm Beach County where there is
litter it could get to the beach, carried by wind and rain," said
Lourdes Ferris, director of Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, who
coordinated the event. "Everything empties out into some body of water."
Mallos, a conservation biologist and marine debris specialist for the
Ocean Conservancy, said the 12 million pounds of junk picked up
worldwide this year reflected the same mix seen in prior years.
year after year the same items are on our top 10 lists - disposable
food and beverage packaging, cigarettes, plastic forks and knives," he
said. "We are overwhelmingly concerned about the presence of plastic, as
well as fishing nets and ropes."
A total of 6,847 pounds trash
were collected in Broward County and 12,456 in Miami-Dade County, with
the list of most common items similar to those found in Palm Beach.
Broward County, unusual items included a blonde wig and a pair of
scissors. In Miami-Dade County, they include a refrigerator, a Bible,
more plastic vampire teeth, an urn and a voodoo doll in a jar.
The Ocean Conservancy said further study is needed to find ways to stop trash at its source.
trash truly is a global problem that affects human health and safety,
endangers marine wildlife, and costs states and nations countless
millions in wasted resources and lost revenue," said Andreas Merkl,
Ocean Conservancy's president and CEO, on Wednesday. "At its core,
however, ocean trash is not an ocean problem; it is a people problem -
perpetuated by the often unwitting practices that industry and people
have adopted over time. But I am convinced we can solve it if we have
the audacity to confront the problem head-on."
The next cleanup will take place Sept. 20.