So how much trash is exactly "a whole lot?" 820 pounds! To put that into a better perspective - at our last cleanup at this same beach back in November 2017, we had about 50 volunteers and only collected 112 pounds. With more helping hands and more eyes to look for trash, it is remarkable just how much more marine debris we are able to remove from the coastlines during a beach cleanup.
After every beach cleanup long after most of the volunteers have left for the day, our team stays behind to make sure all of the trash collected is sorted in its appropriate recycling bin. We sort the collected trash by plastic, glass, metal, and non-recyclables. All of the recyclable materials are brought to our local recycling facility and the non-recyclables are brought to the Solid Waste Authority where the items are properly disposed of. Cleaning the beaches and removing these items before they reach the ocean is extremely important since 80% of the trash in the ocean ends up there from land-based sources such as overflowing trash cans or just individuals littering in general. Just as important as removing the trash is making sure that it is properly disposed of. What would be the point of spending hours cleaning a beach if the trash was just going to end up littering the sands again? That is why our team carefully makes sure that the largest plastic crate down to the smallest microplastic collected makes its way to the right location to be disposed of.
Has this cleanup inspired you to want to get involved and help in more than one ways? Awesome! If you are looking to join the 4Ocean movement, here are some ways you can do so:
1. Sign up to become a volunteer. You will be notified if or when there is a cleanup in your area with all of cleanup details. We would love to see you there - and don't be afraid to bring your family and friends along! You can sign up to become a volunteer HERE. You can also check out more details on our already-planned cleanups and events on our Facebook page, HERE.
2. Reduce your plastic use. This is something that you can start TODAY! Want to learn more? Check out our blog on 15 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Use HERE
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As we got closer to the ocean floor, we began to approach a reef; this reef was nothing short of epic. The colours were bright and everything appeared to be healthy with marine life flourishing... that was until the current changed. Within seconds, this heaving reef became surrounded with plastic and rubbish.