Top 6 Items Collected Internationally Coastal Cleanups

pile of trash as big as the Burj

In 2016 the International Coastal Cleanup coordinated people from 112 countries from around the world to collect over 18 million pounds of trash from the coasts of the globe. Among the top 6 most common items collected during these efforts, one was the plastic bottle. There were enough plastic bottles, that if stacked one on top of the other, would be 372 times as tall as the Burj Khalifa. You know, the tallest building in the world at 2,722 feet?



As for the other top 6, let’s dive right in. Topping the list is something that probably doesn’t surprise you.


1. Cigarette Butts Over one million eight hundred thousand of these. I spelled that out instead of the 1,800,000 because I really can’t wrap my head around that. So there it is twice.


2. Plastic Beverage Bottles Single use plastic water bottles have got to go. Above we mentioned just how tall all of them would be, but just how many would be be? Over 1.5 million. I have no words. ..but here are more anyways.


3. Plastic Bottle Caps This one shocked me a little bit. There were over 800,000 plastic bottle caps found on the coasts. It makes sense they’d be right up there with the bottles, but where are the other caps? Hopefully recycled…


4. Food Wrappers This feels wrong. I know I’ve contributed to these, it’s hard not to. But it’s still not feeling great. I’m not sure I have the answer on this one personally, as I do value sanitary conditions for my food, but also how can we make it less wasteful?


5. Plastic Grocery Bags Easy to solve. Canvas, reusable bags, or paper bags. I’ve noticed recently more paper bags, and while that’s not without its own issues-it feels better than plastic to be sure.


6. Plastic Lids Might be another call for the gourd cups from our previous blog post!


While I’m thankful all these people collected and cleaned our coasts, it saddens me to know that the chocolate bar I had for a snack is having more than just a negative impact on me. Just making more conscious and decisive choices when it comes to what we consume and throw away. What are some ways you’ve reduced waste in your household?


pile of trash as big as the Burj