Every year, millions of volunteers scour the beach to collect plastic rubbish. The largest effort is organized by the Ocean Conservancy and takes place in Sept. The contents collected are studied to determine the make-up of their pollution. Here are some interesting facts based on an article published by National Geographic:
- Cigarette butts (which contain plastic filters) holds the number 1 position and has done so for many years
- The next 9 positions of the top ten are all related to food and drink items
- Food packaging is the second most common item found
- Plastic cutlery (forks, spoons and knives) made the list for the first time in 2018
According to George Leonard, the Ocean Conservancy's chief scientist, "If you run down the rest of the top ten list, what strikes me is that the vast majority are not recyclable. To the extent we talk about recycling as a solution to ocean plastic problems, it would have to get to 50 or 90 percent, which is a huge lift and gets complicated very quickly."
This year's clean-up is scheduled for September 21. You can read the full article on National Geographic here.