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2016 COASTSWEEP Cleanup Summary

Find an overview of the 2016 beach cleanup organized by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

Each year, CZM compiles data on the COASTSWEEP beach cleanups held throughout the state. A summary from 2016 is provided below. See COASTSWEEP - Summaries of Annual Cleanups for other years. For a full list of the information available on the COASTSWEEP website, see  Overview and Index.

2016 Stats

During COASTSWEEP 2016, nearly 2,200 volunteers removed more than 6 tons of trash from 107 sites. As with past years, cigarette butts were the most common item collected (44,703 total), followed by plastic pieces (15,851). In addition to miscellaneous pieces of plastic, many other plastic items were removed, including bags, bottles and their caps, straws, utensils, food containers, coffee lids, 6-pack holders, cigar tips, strapping bands, and fishing line. Altogether, 50,996 pieces of plastic were removed from Bay State beaches. And it wouldn’t be a COASTSWEEP without a few random and interesting items making the final tally. There were fireworks, cell phone, underwear, nail clippers, toilet seat, roll of film, bike helmet, shuttlecock (for badminton), syringes, large plastic sink, beach chair, toy water gun, various buoys, shot gun shells, grill, wood pallets, lobster trap, broom, golf balls, a pop-up tent, and perhaps most exciting, someone found $150 in an envelope! We hope you will join us in 2017—see what you might find and help keep marine debris from entering the world’s oceans.

Top 10 for 2016

Rank Debris Item Amount
1 Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters 44,153
2 Food Wrappers 11,271
3 Plastic Bottle Caps 7,481
4 Plastic Beverage Bottles 7,136
5 Straws/Stirrers 4,098
6 Beverage Cans 4,059
7 Other Plastic and Foam Packaging 2,992
8 Glass Beverage Bottles 2,431
9 Metal Bottle Caps 2,306
10 Plastic Grocery Bags 1,813

For complete cleanup results, please see the COASTSWEEP 2016 data sheet (PDF, 73 KB). For more data, see the Summaries of Annual Cleanups, which links to an overview and summary statistics from past years. More on Marine Debris gives additional details on the types, sources, and impacts of marine debris.

Thank you to the many volunteers who make COASTSWEEP a success!

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