Close to 5 million food wrappers collected from beaches in 24 hours
A new report by the NGO Ocean Conservancy has revealed that items of food packaging are now more numerous than cigarette butts on the world’s beaches.
Published on Sept. 8, 2020, the Ocean Conservancy report provides details of the 32.5 million items of waste removed from beaches in 116 countries across the globe by 943,195 volunteers who turned out for International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2019.
Food packaging, notably chip bags, candy wrappers, drink pouches and soda cans, was the main category of waste found, accounting for 4,771,602 items, many of them made from non-recyclable plastic. For the first time, the annual cleanup, which collected trash from 39,358 kilometers of beaches and waterways, found more items of this type than cigarette butts.
“More and more food-related plastics are ending up in our environment, where they persist and threaten wildlife indefinitely,” points out Allison Schutes, the director of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.
Among the other plastic waste collected, the NGO counted 1.9 million plastic beverage bottles, 1.5 million bottle caps and 942,992 straws and stirrers. NVG