At Ocean Conservancy, we have collected so much ocean trash during nearly three decades of leading the International Coastal Cleanup that eventually we began to joke that we had found everything but the proverbial kitchen sink—until one year we found a real kitchen sink on a beach in Baltimore.
Truth be told, anything that is not properly disposed of—whether it’s as small as a cigarette butt or as large as a mattress—can become ocean trash. These items don’t just pollute our waterways and ocean. They’re a threat to wildlife and habitats, our economies and our health and food safety. That’s why the International Coastal Cleanup is so important. It’s the world’s largest volunteer event on behalf of ocean health, empowering anyone anywhere to get involved and protect our ocean.
The Coca-Cola Company, our lead sponsoring partner, certainly agrees, and its associates have come out in droves to prove it. Last year, over 24,000 Coca-Cola system associates, their friends and families in 27 countries volunteered, cleaning more than 1,300 miles of coastline. This year will be Coca-Cola’s 18th year of participation.
Together, we are building a movement for a world free of trash. Everyone has a part to play in helping us achieve our vision, and we want you to join us this year to help clean up. You will be joining over 500,000 others from almost 100 countries around the world in committing to a clean and healthy ocean and waterways.
To find a Cleanup near you, go to www.oceanconservancy.org/cleanup and be part of the solution.
Sonya Besteiro is Associate Director of the International Coastal Cleanup at Ocean Conservancy.