Since 1985, 11.5 million people have hit the beach to remove a supertanker’s weight of plastic bottles, cigarette butts and grocery bags as part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day.
On September 16, you can join in to protect your favorite body of water in the world’s largest volunteer coastal cleanup.
Got a smartphone? It can help, too! With the app Clean Swell, you can easily track data and connect with the global cleanup community.
The ocean needs your support. Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic floods into the ocean. On shore and in the water, this waste:
- Harms wildlife. Trash and plastics trap and sicken animals, from tiny plankton to the biggest whales. Research suggests that 90 percent of all seabirds have eaten coastal plastic.
- Affects communities. More than 1 billion people rely on the ocean for food. Cleaning up the coast keeps harmful waste out of the food chain.
“All of these data add up to one imperative: We must stop plastic from entering the ocean in the first place,” says Andreas Merkl, president and CEO of Ocean Conservancy, the nonprofit that started Coastal Cleanup Day three decades ago. “The good news is that this is a global problem we can actually solve.”
Local beach cleanups have global impacts. The Ocean Conservancy connects data about ocean debris with scientists around the world to develop policies for a healthier ocean.
So find a coastal cleanup near you this weekend, or start your own with some friends and a smartphone. With International Coastal Cleanup Day, and #2017Cleanup on Twitter, you can help turn the tide against trash.