The nonprofit Ocean Conservancy mobilizes an international beach cleanup each year. The results from the most recent cleanup are in.
In Rhode Island, volunteers collected more than 16,000 pounds of trash along 59 miles of the state’s shoreline last September. Save the Bay’s July Lewis says the number one item is always cigarette butts.
“I think it's something that people think of as something that's biodegradable and they are not,” said Lewis. “Those fibers are made out of cellulose plastic and they don't break down and they become trash in the environment. It’s possible for animals to eat them.”
Food wrappers, plastic bottles and caps, and fishing lines were also among the top ten trash items collected.
This global beach cleanup and its results are meant to raise awareness about the growing problem of ocean trash and inspire initiatives to reduce and manage waste. The next cleanup takes place again in September.