International Coastal Cleanup 2009

The Ocean Conservancy sponsors the International Coastal Cleanup, in which volunteers all over the world clean up and count litter on beaches and waterways. In addition to cleaning up land-accessible locations, cleanup crews also head out in boats or in scuba gear to collect litter.

In 2009, the Cleanup took place at 6,430 sites in 108 countries and 45 US states, plus the District of Columbia. Beverage packaging made up a significant portion of the total collected litter.

Cleanup efforts resulted in the collection of 10,239,538 total items in 2009. Beverage bottles, cans, and caps were all found on the list of top ten marine debris items. There were 1,800,099 bottles and cans found, plus additional 912,246 caps and lids, making packaged beverages responsible for 26% of total coastal debris.

rank

debris item

number of
debris items

percentage of
total debris items

1

cigarettes/cigarette filters

2,189,252

21%

2

bags (plastic)

1,126,774

11%

3

food wrappers/containers

943,233

9%

4

caps, lids

912,246

9%

5

beverage bottles (plastic)

883,737

9%

6

cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons

512,517

5%

7

beverage bottles (glass)

459,531

4%

8

beverage cans

457,631

4%

9

straws, stirrers

412,940

4%

10

bags (paper)

331,476

3%

top ten total debris items

8,229,337

80%

total debris items worldwide

10,239,538

100%

Trash Travels: From Our Hands to the Sea, Around the Globe, and Through Time
International Coastal Cleanup 2009 report [pdf, 10.5mb]

More about bottle bills and litter


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