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Andrew Sneddon, center, of Coastal Playground, accepts trash collected by volunteers during the California Coastal Cleanup Day at Huntington State Beach on Saturday, September 16, 2017.

Andrew Sneddon, center, of Coastal Playground, accepts trash collected by volunteers during the California Coastal Cleanup Day at Huntington State Beach on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Photo: Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG


If you’ve been to the beach lately–which you probably have–you’ve noticed a lot of trash. In fact, if you’ve been anywhere on earth lately–which you probably have–you’ve noticed a lot of trash. We throw shit out like it’s going out of style. And a few weeks ago, on Saturday, September 16, just over 7,000 people joined forces to do a little garbage duty. Not a little, though. Those 7,000 volunteers picked up 70,485 pounds of garbage from 56 sites in Orange County. That’s nearly 14,000 pounds more than last year’s total, and somewhat depressingly, doesn’t even make a dent.

The whole thing was organized by the Orange County Coastkeeper, a non-profit clean water organization that serves as a steward of our fresh and saltwater ecosystems. “It’s common to see these items around the house, but when you pick them up from the sand, it makes the pollution problem personal,” said Lauren Smith, a coordinator for OC Coastkeeper, to the OC Register. “Coastal Cleanup Day educates people about how their everyday actions impact the local environment, no matter how far they are from the beach, and how they can make a positive difference.”

The cleanup was a record breaker for Orange County, which isn’t all that surprising considering the staggering amount of crap they picked up. “It’s inspiring that this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day removed more trash than ever before, and we want to keep the momentum going all year,” said Smith. “By informing people about how to keep trash out of our ocean, we can work together to reduce coastal pollution.”

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