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2017 COASTSWEEP Cleanup Summary

Find an overview of the 2017 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 2017 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.

2017 Stats

During COASTSWEEP 2017, nearly 2,400 volunteers removed more than 12 tons of trash from 116 sites. As with past years, cigarette butts were the most common item collected (30,347 total), followed by plastic pieces (11,968). 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, 67,343 pieces of plastic were removed from Bay State beaches. And it wouldn’t be COASTSWEEP without a few random and interesting items making the final tally—a canoe, grocery cart, car bumper, boat window, toilet seat, hockey stick, outhouse door, bird bath, a commemorative Red Sox Championship ring, and even the proverbial kitchen sink! Who knows what you might find if you join us in 2018 to help keep marine debris from entering the world’s oceans.

Top 10 for 2017

Rank Debris Item Amount
1 Cigarettes Butts 30,347
2 Plastic Pieces 11,968
3 Plastic Beverage Bottles 11,704
4 Food Wrappers 9,742
5 Plastic Take Out Containers 9,338
6 Other Plastic Foam Packaging 8,036
7 Beverage Cans 7,372
8 Plastic Bottle Caps 6,620
9 Foam Pieces 5,941
10 Glass Pieces 5,461

For complete cleanup results, please see the COASTSWEEP 2017 data sheet (PDF, 77 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!


COASTSWEEP 2017 Volunteer Collage

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