A blog set out to explore, archive & relate plastic pollution happening world-wide, while learning about on-going efforts and solutions to help break free of our addiction to single-use plastics & sharing this awareness with a community of clean water lovers everywhere!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Volunteers Hit the Beach for 2014 International Coastal Cleanup Day

Published on The Weather Channel by Allie Goolrick, Sept 20, 2014

We tend to think of the beach as an unspoiled paradise with miles of white sand, palm trees and turquoise waters. But what if you added 2 million cigarette butts and 1.6 million food wrappers into that picture?

The sad reality is that across the globe, many of our most gorgeous beaches have turned into repositories for garbage, whether washed up or left behind by visitors.

(MORE: 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Day Finds)

But there is some hope. On Saturday, volunteers around the globe will flock to the shore for International Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual call-to-action for people to help tidy up summer hotspots after the busy tourism season is over.

And the sheer amount of trash that volunteers can collect during these annual cleanups is staggering.
Event sponsor Ocean Conservancy reports that last year,  collected over 12.3 million pounds of trash during the one-day event, which is one of the largest volunteer gatherings on the planet. Along with millions of cigarette butts and food wrappers, workers in 92 countries collected thousands of plastic and glass bottles, plastic and paper bags – even an entire apartment’s worth of discarded furniture. Some of the weirder finds? An iPad, a plastic eye, a lava lamp, a loaded gun and all the staples of a wedding, including a wedding dress and ring.

(WATCH: A Stunning Find Off the California Coast)

It may seem like sort of an oddball treasure hunt, but Ocean Conservancy hopes the cleanup can not only put a dent in the trash strewn across beaches around the world, but also bring awareness to how damaging littering can be to both beaches and the ocean.

"Our goal isn't just to clean the beaches, it is to educate people about in the first place," Park Ranger Mike Aymond with the Gulf Islands National Seashore told the Pensacola News Journal. "Some pieces of debris can outlive the oldest fish in the sea."

Data from the event helps Ocean Conservancy and other ocean and environmental organizations to figure out what sorts of garbage are the most harmful and how to keep them out of the ocean, according to Ocean Conservancy.

If you’re too far from the beach to make a day trip, Deep Sea News proposes some alternate suggestions for how to , from buying from eco-conscious companies to simply recycling.
To sign up for a cleanup near you, visit .

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Cleaning Up Our Oceans

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