Global Beach Cleanup Yields Hundreds of Tons of Junk

September 21, 2009 at 7:54 am | Posted in News | 1 Comment

beach-trashWe all love beachcombing, but on coastlines scattered with out-and-out garbage — stuff that wasn’t lost but simply tossed — it becomes downright depressing and misanthropy-provoking. Saturday was International Coastal Cleanup Day, with cleanups organized all over the world under various auspices. The 362-mile-long Oregon Coast, which is generally a scavenger’s paradise, held its 25th annual Great Oregon Fall Beach Cleanup. As revealed at Beach Connection, 3,700 volunteers removed an estimated 54,460 pounds of trash from Oregon’s beaches:

“Among the many interesting items found Saturday were a car bumper, a pacifier, a box of baby wipes, an unopened package of hotdogs that expired last year, a small refrigerator, a life vest, and over 125 shoes and flip flops. Volunteers reported finding an unusual number of homeless camps on the beach. At Beverly Beach State Park near Newport, four goats joined volunteers to help keep the coastline clean.

“Some of the most common items found on the beach included Styrofoam, plastic caps, lids, bottles and cigarette butts. While these are often small items, if they accumulate they can do big damage to marine wildlife and the environment, particularly the plastic debris that never fully degrade or disappear.

“Scientists have discovered that more than five million square miles of the Pacific Ocean is covered with trash, and it is believed that most of is comprised of the remnants of plastic trash from the world’s shorelines.”

As for the other side of the world, Express Buzz gives us this bulletin from Shanghumugham Beach in Kerala, India:

“This year … a majority of the litter collected as part of the coastal clean-up day was ice-cream cups and sticks. And if you thought there is no smoking happening in public places because of the anti-smoking law, you are wrong. The second largest litter items were cigarette stubs and burnt match sticks….

“Out of the waste collected and analysed, the major contribution was from ice cream-related waste including wooden ice cream sticks followed by plastic wastes including spoons, ice cream cups, bottles, food wrappers and disposable plastic cups. The plastic cups amounted to as much as 50 percent of the litter on the beach.

“The next major contributors were cigarette stubs and burnt match sticks. Surprisingly only 2 mineral water bottles and 4 liquor bottles were recovered. A disturbing recovery was that of two diapers. The way of disposal of these diapers show the careless attitude of the citizens to the environment…. The remaining contribution was from newspaper bits, abandoned toys, paper, thermocol and other miscellaneous items.

“A remnant of a Ganesha idol made of Plaster of Paris weighing around 5 kg was also found on the beach.”

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