9,065 Appliances Were Found in the Ocean Last Year

You won't believe what other weird home items were collected on beaches around the world during Ocean Conservancy's 2017 International Coastal Cleanup.



Summer tropical sea, beach, wave and blue sky at Koh Samed Island, famous tourist attraction in Rayong province, Thailand.

Photo by: iStock/Amthinkin


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As we prepare for the start of beach season, the Ocean Conservancy has released information on the weirdest items collected during its 2017 International Coastal Cleanup. The annual event mobilizes hundreds of thousands of volunteers in more than 100 countries all over the world to remove trash from local beaches, waterways and parks. In addition to removing trash, volunteers log each trash item to help inform policy solutions to the marine debris crisis. In years past, volunteers have recovered wedding dresses, washing machines, mattresses and more.

Every year, millions of tons of trash flow into the ocean, entangling wildlife, polluting beaches and costing coastal municipalities hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps and plastic straws are among the most commonly collected items. They are also among the most deadly to wildlife. Plastics, which never fully biodegrade, are of particular concern.

The Weirdest Ocean Finds (By the Number)

  • 9,065 appliances
  • 87 mattresses
  • 38 toilets
  • 28 barbecues
  • 17 television sets
  • 15 irons
  • 14 couches
  • 13 chairs
  • 12 brooms
  • 7 fake plants
  • 5 pasta strainers
  • 4 frying pans
  • 3 hot tubs
  • 2.5 bird baths
  • 2 lawn mowers
  • 1 leaf blower
  • 1 ladder
  • 1 kitchen table

Do Your Part — But How?

How can you prevent your old TV from ending up tangled in seaweed? Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program, shares his top five tips. Just imagine if we didn't need beach cleanups...

Know where to go to properly dispose of housewares.
Thrift shops and donation centers are a great way to make sure your gently used appliances, electronics and furniture get a second chance in a new home. If your things can't be reused, most municipalities can advise you on where to properly (and legally) dump bulk items.

Skip the straw—and other plastic items where possible.
When you go out to eat, try to "Skip the Straw". And though it's hard to get away from plastic when it comes to home decor and furnishings, keep an eye out for alternatives to single-use, disposable plastic in the goods you purchase.

Take five extra seconds.
Whether at a beach, park or in your own backyard, take five: five extra seconds to make sure you've taken all your belongings and another five seconds to pick up five additional items of trash you see.

Join a beach cleanup.
Ocean Conservancy mobilizes the annual International Coastal Cleanup every September when people worldwide head out to their local beach, waterway or park and collect trash. Find a cleanup near you.

Log your trash finds.
Download the CleanSwell mobile app to add your trash finds to Ocean Conservancy's Ocean Trash Index, the world's biggest marine debris database. Knowledge is power, and your data helps scientists, conservationists and policy makers identify solutions to the ocean trash problem.

Governments and businesses also play a critical role in trash-free seas by ensuring their products are recyclable and working to improve waste management in countries where the flow of plastic and trash into the ocean is greatest.

Ocean Conservancy will release the full International Coastal Cleanup report on June 26, 2018. Ed.

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