Ocean cleanup yields over 2 million cigarette butts

Mike Krumboltz
The Upbeat

Top 10 items found in oceans in 2012 (chart via Ocean Conservancy)

The Ocean Conservancy recently reported that volunteers removed millions of pounds of garbage from beaches and oceans during the organization's 2012 International Coastal Cleanup day.

That's admirable by itself. But we're particularly impressed that the volunteers also counted and categorized each and every bit of garbage. That's dedication.

The top item picked up, according to the report from the Ocean Conservancy: cigarette butts—2,117,931 of them. Other trash included: food wrappers and containers (1,140,222), beverage bottles (1,065,171), plastic bags (1,019,902) and bottle caps (958,893).

The volunteers also found unexpected bits of refuse, including 40 lottery tickets (we're guessing none were winners), 236 toothbrushes and 117 mattresses.

Interested in helping out? This year's International Coastal Cleanup day is Sept. 21.