Ocean Conservancy: International Coastal Cleanup Report 2009

Ocean Conservancy released the international results earlier this month entitiled, “A Rising Tide of Ocean Debris and What We Can Do About It.”

Click the image to download these report:

  • 2009 Full Report
  • Executive Summary
  • Marine Debris Index
  • Additional Charts and Tables

“Each year, Ocean Conservancy provides a compelling global snapshot of marine debris collected on one day at thousands of sites all over the world during the International Coastal Cleanup held the third Saturday of each September.

This year’s report, A Rising Tide of Ocean Debris and What We Can Do About It, presents data recorded by nearly 400,000 volunteers in 104 countries and locations and 42 US states at the 23rd annual Cleanup.

Key findings include:

  • A tidal wave of ocean debris is a major pollution problem of the 21st century
  • Of the 43 items tracked during the Cleanup, the top three items of trash found in 2008 were cigarette butts, plastic bags, and food wrappers/containers.
  • Marine debris kills. Every year, thousands of marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, and other animals are sickened, injured, or killed because of trash in the ocean.
  • Marine debris degrades ocean health and compromises the ocean’s ability to adapt to climate change.

ICCS 2009 Calendar

The detailed time-table for ICCS Otters is posted on its own page.


  • 01 Apr 2009: Invitation letters to 2008 organisers and email to ICCS list
  • 09 Apr 2009 – 15 May 2009: Registration through webpage

Education programme

  • Sat 04 Jul 2009: 8am – 12pm: ICCS Organizer Workshop/recce
  • Sat 05 Sep 2009: 8am – 12pm: ICCS Site Buddy Briefing

International Coastal Cleanup

  • Sat 12 Sep 2009: 8am – 12pm: ICCS Mangroves (Tides: 8am – 11am: 1.7m – 1.7m)
  • Sat 19 Sep 2009 : 8am – 12pm: ICCS Beach (Tides: 8am – 10am: 1.3m – 3.0m)

Visit to KK Asia Plastic Recycling (August 2006)

Amy Choong from Republic Polytechnic was asking me about plastic recycling in Singapore and I mentioned this email from Wong Yueat Tin, one of the ICCS Otters, from 2006. I reproduce it here and hope I can persuade her to do an update soon.

We were then looking into the feasibility of recycling out the plastics from our beach cleanups, some of which does come out pretty clean.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Wong Yueat Tin
Date: Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 12:13 PM
Subject: Visit to KK Asia Plastic Recycling Factory
To: otterman

We will KIV the plastics recycling for our coastal cleanups, but here’s some relevant and interesting notes.

Huaqin and I went to KK Asia Plastic Recycling Factory (now under SembEnviro) yesterday to discuss the possibility of recycling plastics collected during our coastal cleanups. Since the factory washes the plastics it receives prior to processing them and that same water used is recycled, plastic items we bring to the factory must be free of sand. So we should either set aside only relatively clean plastics during the cleanup or we can set aside plastics and clean them after collection and before sending them to the factory.

Photos of the visit are posted on flickr.

The factory collects all sorts of plastics – according to Mr Anthony Mark Chong, plastics of the same family can be processed together (eg. HDPE and LDPE). The plastic bottles are washed and sheared into flakes, and can be made into pellets. Pellets are sold to Australia and processed to make irrigation pipes.

Plastic bottles are also processed into tubular form in China, which can then be stretched into polyester and made into clothes.

Styrofoam is compressed into brick form which is a material found in the interior of our disposable cutlery. A layer of prime plastic coats the disposable cutlery. So do not bite into them!

Plastic bags (films) are processed into pellets which can then be recycled into black trash bags. These recycled trashbags are sold at a cheaper rate (15 cents per piece) than virgin material (unlike paper).