Saturday, September 20th marked California’s statewide “California Coastal Cleanup Day”.  With Red Planet being based out of the Bay Area, Lord knows we could use multiple designated coastal cleanup days.  In today’s blog, we’ll explore the history, initiative and staggering results.

Coastal Cleanup Day began back in 1985 (were you even born yet…?) by the California Coastal Commission.  The first year, there were 2,500 volunteers statewide and has been growing tremendously ever since.  Remember Guinness Book of World Records?  I know, I forgot it about myself, until I came across this fun fact: 1993’s California Coastal Cleanup Day was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” ever organized, with over 50,000 volunteers1.  To blow that number out of the water, in yesterday’s event, they are estimating over 70,000 volunteers1.  It’ll be exciting to see and be a part of the initiative and awareness… if you happen to do one in the near future (which you should 100% sign up for soon), you will be flabbergasted by how full your bucket will be with trash in just an hour.  Now imagine how much trash you gathered in less than one-mile radius and multiply that by all of the coastline around the world.  Almost impossible to picture how much trash that is.

Now, a little time for what has been collected the most of over the history of records, back to 1985:
Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters: 7,535,411
Food Wrappers/Containers: 2,193,018
Caps/Lids: 1,861,923
Bags (Paper and Plastic): 1,572,241
Cups/Plates/Utensils: 1,113,129

We have already reviewed and discussed what happens with all of this trash once it gets into the water systems, so no need to repeat myself (I’d feel like my father if I did that… beating a dead horse).  It truly is a shame how careless we are as a society in our consumption/waste that can be prevented SO EASILY!  The majority of the trash/debris that fills our coastlines and oceans initially come from urban areas.  So if you live in or near a large metropolitan city (or for that matter, regardless of where you live), play your part and prevent a couple of pounds of trash per year from going into our water systems.  Biggest thing you could do is volunteer 1 or 2 hours each month for a cleanup initiative.  Don’t be that person and contribute to the problem.  Instead, contribute to the solution.

1 According to California Coastal Cleanup Commission