A global effort to clean up some of the most litter-strewn beaches recovered a mind-boggling 1,863,838 cigarettes – plus 56 toilets and even a piano.
Ocean Conservancy, a U.S.-based non-profit that organises a mammoth coastal litter-pick every year, found that cigarettes were the worst offender in 2016 when it came to water waste, followed by plastic bottles.
Overall last year 1,578,834 million plastic bottles were plucked from beaches and the sea by volunteers along with 822,227 bottle tops and 762,353 pieces of food packaging.
The total global weight of the rubbish collected during the clean-up came in at more than 18,399,900 pounds – more than the combined load of 300 crocodiles, 600 rhinos, 700 elephants, 200 zebras, 400 giraffes, 500 hippos and 100 lions
The more unusual items recovered from coastal areas included 56 toilets, eight microwaves and one piano
Grocery bags were another common beach feature, with 520,900 collected from the shorelines.
There were also enough balloons recovered to lift the weight of a walrus and the haul of discarded beverage cans weighed the same as a safari Jeep.
Meanwhile, the amount of cigarette lighters collected during the beach clean-up were equal to ten times the height of the Eiffel Tower.
The total global weight of the rubbish collected during the clean-up came in at more than 18,399,900 pounds – more than the combined load of 300 crocodiles, 600 rhinos, 700 elephants, 200 zebras, 400 giraffes, 500 hippos and 100 lions.
The more unusual items recovered also included eight microwaves.
Researchers have previously calculated that about eight million tonnes of plastic debris is washed into the world’s oceans and seas each year
From 112 countries around the world, volunteers worked clearing trash both on land and underwater.
Some of the more active areas of the world included Hong Kong, with 76,311 people getting on board with the environmental project.
But America was the most active country, with 183,321 participants signing up.
Commenting on the outcome, Ocean Conservancy senior manager Allison Schutes said: ‘Together, we walked over 14,490 miles of beaches, coasts and waterways – enough to walk around the moon twice.
From 112 countries around the world, volunteers cleared trash both on land and underwater
America was the most active country in the 2016 clean-up, with 183,321 participants
‘This is no small feat and we are grateful for every person who showed up and every piece of trash they picked. It makes a difference in our efforts to stem the tide of ocean trash.’
Researchers have previously calculated that about eight million tonnes of plastic debris is washed into the world’s oceans each year.
Breaking this down, it means the equivalent of 22,000 747-jumbo jets in plastic enters the oceans annually and that floating plastic weighs as much as 30,000 elephants.
If this trend continues, the oceans are set to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tons of fish by 2025 and by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish.