People, Pounds and Miles

In 2012, Cleanup volunteers covered a distance of nearly 18,000 miles and collected weird finds ranging from lottery tickets to toothbrushes.

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For more than a quarter of a century, volunteers from all over the world have gathered every year along coastlines and waterways to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup®. Many walk, while others set out on boats. Thousands more don scuba gear to seek trash below the water’s surface.

In 2012, more than half a million volunteers participated, collecting more than 10 million pounds of trash and covering a distance of nearly 18,000 miles.

These volunteers have picked up everything imaginable along the world’s shorelines: cigarette butts, food wrappers, abandoned fishing gear and even automobiles and kitchen appliances.

Here are some of the weirdest finds from the 2012 Cleanup:

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You can help keep weird items like these out of our ocean. Join the fight for a healthy ocean by taking the pledge to help turn the tide on ocean trash.


Join the Fight for a Healthy Ocean

Help keep the ocean healthy for sea turtles, polar bears, whales and people like you.


2012 Ocean Trash Index

Download the data collected during the 2012 International Coastal Cleanup.

Top 10 Items Found

Many of the most commonly found pieces of trash include items we use every day from food wrappers to beverage containers to plastic bags.

Top 10 Participating Countries

Volunteers cleaned coastal beaches and inland waterways in 97 countries and locations all over the world.

International Coastal Cleanup Sponsoring Partners

Ocean Conservancy is extremely grateful to our sponsoring partners for their commitment to and enthusiasm for the International Coastal Cleanup.

Ocean Conservancy makes careful use of your support, and holds high ratings from charity watchdogs.
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