2 Million Cigarette Butts Removed From Beaches During International Coastal Cleanup Day

Volunteers removed over ten million pounds of trash, including 2 million cigarette butts, during International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2012.

The Ocean Conservancy, which hosts the event every year, released its report this week saying that more than 500,000 volunteers worked to remove 10,149,988 pounds of trash along 17,719 coastal miles during the event last year.

In addition to nearly 2 million cigarette butts, the cleanup crew also removed more than a million food containers, another million plastic water bottles, 600,00o items of cutlery, more than 300,000 aluminum cans, 4,000 candles, 117 mattresses, and 40 lottery tickets.

The group writes: “For more than a quarter of a century, volunteers from all over the world have gather every year along coastlines and waterways to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup. Many walk, while others set out on boats. Thousands more don scuba gear to seek trash below the water’s surface. In 2012, more than half a million volunteers participated, collecting more than 10 million pounds of trash and covering a distance of nearly 18,000 miles.”

“These volunteers have picked up everything imaginable along the world’s shorelines: cigarette butts, food wrappers, abandoned fishing gear and even automobiles and kitchen appliances.”

The most frequently found item was a cigarette butt. The cleanup crews removed more than 2 million cigarette butts during International Cleanup Day. If you’re looking for an exact number, the organization says that 2,117,931 discarded cigarettes were removed from the ocean.

Here are the top 10 items found during 2012 International Cleanup Day.

items removed from the ocean

The Ocean Conservancy will host its 2013 International Cleanup Day on September 21. Here’s a video from last year’s event.

Here are some of the more interesting finds from 2012.

ocean conservancy