BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 24 September '16

Hundreds of thousands take part in ‘world’s largest volunteer effort to prevent ocean trash’

Hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world participated in Ocean Conservancy’s 31st International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday (17 September), to stem the tide of rubbish entering our ocean.

A database of debris

The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to remove rubbish from local waterways, beaches, lakes and rivers.

This year, volunteers used Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app (available as a free download from the App Store and Google Play) to document every piece of rubbish collected for the Ocean Trash Index, the world’s largest database on marine debris.

‘Marine debris is a serious concern for the health of our ocean. Fortunately, this is a problem that we can solve, and through our International Coastal Cleanup we get a glimpse of the impact of this global community that is working for a future of trash free seas.’

ALLISON SCHUTES
Senior manager for Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Program

In the past three decades, more than 225 million items of rubbish have been logged and removed from our beaches and waterways by more than 11.5 million volunteers.

8m tonnes of plastic

Marine debris is harmful to marine environments and wildlife, especially marine plastic debris which has been documented as harming nearly 700 species of wildlife.

Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste flow into the ocean, with at least 80% of ocean plastic originating from land-based sources.

Without concerted global action, there could be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fin fish by 2025, leading to significant environmental, economic and health issues.

Click here for more from the Ocean Conservancy.