This is very welcome news. A Canadian ocean cleanup in B.C. took over 3,200 pieces of garbage out of the ocean. Volunteers worked to remove things from the shoreline and the ocean that had no business being there in the first place.
The cleanup was facilitated by 4ocean and was the organization's first in Canada. The cleanup was made possible through a partnership between 4ocean and Air Canada. The airline sponsored the public cleanup at Garry Point Park in B.C. in September 2019.
The final numbers are in and the cleanup removed more than 3,200 pieces of garbage from the ocean and B.C.'s shoreline. Items removed included styrofoam, cigarette butts, plastic bags, and more.
4ocean is a non-profit organization that helps clean the world's oceans and coastlines. 4ocean was founded specifically in efforts to end the crisis of plastic in our oceans.
The organization has cleanup operations in and around Florida, Haiti, and Bali where crews work seven days a week in cleanup efforts.
"We commend the participants who came together and braved the rain to achieve these results, leaving another community ocean shoreline in better condition," said Teresa Ehman, senior director of environmental affairs at Air Canada, in a press release.
In only a few hours at the shore on September 22, more than 345 volunteers were able to remove more than 3,200 items of garbage from the shore and the ocean.
The most common items that were found were styrofoam containers, cigarette butts, plastic bags, and straws, according to the release. To be exact, 1,374 pieces of styrofoam, 931 cigarette butts, 481 plastic bags, and 159 straws were found and removed.
Garbage like straws in oceans and on shorelines prompted many companies like Starbucks to start phasing out plastic straws.
Similarly, styrofoam food containers will be banned in Vancouver starting January 1, 2020.
Even a few larger items were found during the cleanup like two lawn chairs and a car bumper. Because of the partnership between 4ocean and Air Canada, many Air Canada employees volunteered for the cleanup.
"Air Canada's environment commitments include reducing its use of single-use plastics and as part of a multi-pronged strategy, we have partnered with 4ocean, an organization that seeks to reduce plastic and trash pollution in oceans around the world," said Ehman in the release.
Air Canada also sponsored a 4ocean clean up earlier this year in Florida where part of the 4ocean global team is located.
Garbage like plastic bags and styrofoam aren't the only way the ocean gets polluted, waste from cruise ships is often dumped into ocean waters. This is also contributing to the vast amounts of ocean pollution.
As such, ocean cleanup efforts like this one are deeply important.
According to 4ocean's Trash Tracker, more than 6.7 million pounds of garbage have been removed from the ocean and coastlines around the world by 4ocean employees since 2017.