As in recent years, persistent and harmful plastic and foam plastic items accounted for 83.19% of the total items collected in 2019. This is in part due to substantial increases in the number of single-use plastic items found during the Sweeps. For example, cigar tips showed a 43.92% increase in the amount collected when compared to 2018.
The evidence is clear: though some plastic items appear to be on a declining trend, overall, society’s epidemic use of disposable plastic items is increasing and adding litter to beaches, harming marine life, and negatively impacting water quality. Plastics collect contaminants and break down into smaller and smaller bits, ultimately becoming microplastics. Overall, plastics are causing significant threats to the food chain.
To view the 2019 Beach Sweeps Report visit CleanOceanAction.org.