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2019 COASTSWEEP Cleanup Summary

Find an overview of the 2019 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 2019 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.

2019 Stats

During COASTSWEEP 2019, 3,501 volunteers removed nearly 20 tons of trash from 197 sites, cleaning more than 241 miles of shoreline. As with past years, cigarette butts were the most common item collected (40,103 total), followed by plastic pieces (21,931). 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, 40,639 pieces of plastic were removed from Bay State beaches. And it wouldn’t be a COASTSWEEP without a few interesting items making the final tally. Volunteers found laptop computers, a bicycle, a door, some cash (lucky find!), hockey pucks, a hammock, and a toilet plunger. Please join us in 2020—see what you might find and help keep marine debris from entering the world’s oceans.

Top 10 for 2019

Rank Debris Item Amount
1 Cigarette Butts 40,103
2 Plastic Pieces 21,931
3 Food Wrappers 11,753
4 Plastic Bottle Caps 9,554
5 Glass Pieces 8,596
6 Foam Pieces 8,057
7 Plastic Beverage Bottles 6,651
8 Other Plastic Foam Packaging 4,714
9 Straws/Stirrers 4,385
10 Beverage Cans 3,491

For complete cleanup results, please see the COASTSWEEP 2019 data sheet (PDF, 135 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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