By Nina Wu
Pieces of microplastic surpassed the number of cigarette butts in Sustainable Coastline Hawaii's latest tally of its beach cleanup at Kailua and Lanikai (including the Mokoluas & Flat Island) on Sept. 15, International Coastal Cleanup Day.
Some 700 volunteers on that Saturday picked up an estimated:
>> 11,306 pieces of microplastic
>> 8,891 cigarette butts
>> 2,563 Styrofoam cps and containers
>> 2,146 food and candy wrappers
>> 1,533 caps, lids and tops
>> 1,385 non-nylon rope and net
>> 945 bottle caps
>> 868 glass bottles
>> 717 rubber pieces
>> 677 plastic bags
>> 655 fishing nets/rope
>> 522 aluminum cans
>> Volunteers also picked up 462 beverage bottles, 450 large pieces of plastic, 342 personal care products, 231 utensils, 159 pieces of clothing/shoes, 108 toys, 31 lighters and 11 tires.
When volunteers participate in a beach cleanup, they also fill out tally sheets that help SCH 1) convey the true power of collective action 2) understand where the rubbish is coming from for source reduction education and 3) help initiate legislation that reduces pollution.
Microplastics, cigarette buttes and Styrofoam remain at the top of the list, according to Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, which says "refusing Styrofoam, making sure butts are properly disposed of, and avoiding purchasing plastic can make a huge difference in the health and safety of our oceans."
The data is also reported to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).