beach cleanup facts

10 Beach Cleanup Facts of 2024

Jane Marsh - March 10, 2024

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Most people look forward to summer because they can head to the beach with their friends and family. It’s a beautiful place to relax and enjoy splashing around in the waves, but only if it’s a trash-free environment. Beaches see some of the highest amounts of pollution because it’s easy for tourists to dump waste. It’s also where waterways bring their floating debris. Anyone who wants to do their part to make the earth a better place to live may start with changes in their personal life. However, don’t forget that you can always head to the beach and make an immediate difference. Check out these 10 beach cleanup facts of 2024 that will encourage you on your sustainability journey. 

1. You’ll Improve the Local Environment

The first of our beach cleanup facts is that even if your local beaches only have a small amount of trash one day, like the occasional straw wrapper or water bottle label, it still hurts everything in the local environment. The tide eventually pulls that waste out to sea, where it chokes marine life. It can also push it back into local waterways and clog rivers. 

2. You’ll Clean the Whole Ocean

Imagine going out to the beach, prepared to haul back bags of trash, but you only find a few cigarette butts. You may feel like you wasted your time, but any amount of garbage will affect the entire ocean.

A single cigarette butt will contaminate 8 liters of water after just one hour of soaking in the waves. Those pollutants drift deeper into the ocean and reach wildlife that would never interact with the coastline, making more animals suffer because people don’t want to walk to the trash can.

3. You Might Choose New Habits

You may do your part to go green at home, but seeing the consequences of bad habits may encourage you to find more ways to change. After spending hours cleaning up the beach, you might make more eco-friendly purchases, like avoiding straws and plastic products. Once you see the damage caused by pollution, you’ll never look at contaminants the same way again.

4. You’ll Boost the Economy

No one wants to go to the beach when it’s littered with old food and trash. Once you clean it up, more people will travel out to spend the day there. They’ll boost the economy by eating local food and shopping at nearby stores, which helps make the city a better place for locals.

5. You Can Recycle Waste

You might go to the beach with a couple of trash bags to collect waste, but you don’t have to toss everything in a landfill. Recycle what you find so that the earth becomes a little cleaner outside the beach, too.

6. You’ll Get a New Perspective

It’s hard to see pollution in person and not have a changed perspective on life. Seeing the coastline covered in trash is a reminder that the sustainability movement depends on more than one person. Industries that rely on selling products produce 9 billion tons of plastic every year, so more people must get on board with sustainability to reduce how much plastic ends up in the world.

7. You Might Spot New Animals

Depending on when you clean up the beach, you might spot new animals you’ve never seen before. Clean up during the early morning to spot pods of dolphins, sleepy crabs and turtles wandering back into the water. It’s a reminder of how majestic ocean creatures are outside of zoos and aquariums.

8. You’ll Form a Community

You can always pick up trash by yourself, but it’s more fun with friends. Join a group of local volunteers to form a community that believes in the same sustainable goals as you. When you’re not all out on the beach, you’ll discover new ways to give back to the earth and live greener lives.

9. You Can Start Traveling

If you live near a beach, you can clean during the week. However, as you get more passionate about cleanups, you can start traveling. Research which beaches need the most help and visit with friends to see new places and make a broader impact.

10. You Can Start at Home

Picking up waste can be a life-changing experience, but it also teaches you how to prevent beach pollution from home. After seeing how it affects ocean life, you may reduce your plastic use, recycle more and avoid treating your yard with harsh chemicals that end up in the waterways. It’s great to know exactly how your actions help or hurt the earth by seeing the consequences in person.

Pick a Beach and Start Cleaning

You can help yourself and the planet by cleaning up the coastlines. Let these beach cleanup facts inspire you to pick a spot and get started on making a significant difference. You’ll learn about the world while you make friends and improve your sustainable habits.

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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.