What Ocean Conservancy Says

The annual reports from the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup present a stark reminder of how marine debris affects beaches across the globe.

The 2009 report—A Rising Tide of Ocean Debris and What We Can Do About It—compiles findings from 400,000 volunteers from 104 countries. The number one item disposed or washed up on beaches: cigarettes at 28% of the total. Numerous plastic packaging products, glass bottles and beverage cans rounded out the top ten.

The Ocean Conservancy’s recommendations include:

  1. Expand public and private partnerships to monitor and reduce marine debris.
  2. Fund increased research on the sources and impacts of marine debris.
  3. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  4. Seek better technological solutions.
  5. Support the inclusion of comprehensive ocean management in all climate change initiatives.
  6. Engage in community efforts like the International Coastal Cleanup.

The Ocean Conservancy report states: “This comprehensive body of data compiled each year at the Cleanup has informed major legislation and inspired improvements in packaging and other technologies as well as expanded recycling efforts in communities large and small.”

Learn more about the Ocean Conservancy.