MAY 2012

Data shows types of trash in ocean and waterways
Found enough discarded clothing to outfit audience of the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

With the recent news of possible Japan tsunami debris spotted off the Canadian coast, Ocean Conservancy is releasing new data on the larger issue of marine debris. New numbers detail ocean trash found along coasts and waterways worldwide during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup – the largest annual volunteer effort for the ocean.

“Our volunteers picked up enough food packaging for a person to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years,” said Vikki Spruill, Ocean Conservancy’s president and CEO. “Ocean trash is human-generated, preventable and one of the biggest threats to our ocean and waterways.”

This year, the scientific field of marine debris had an extra challenge with the aftermath of the Japan tsunami. While researchers are still working to learn more about what resulted from this unavoidable natural disaster, one thing is known: tsunami-related debris was unpreventable, but ocean trash is – when everyone is part of the solution.

The clean up is part of Ocean Conservancy’s vision of Trash Free Seas, and is one of the many ways the organization is helping find solutions on the issue of marine debris.