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Don't Trash the Ocean: National Clean Beaches Week July 1-7

Release Date: 07/01/2008
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 / jones.enesta@epa.gov

(7/1/08) Summer is here and everyone is heading to picnics, parties, pools, parks, and beaches, but it is important to remember to put trash and recyclable materials in their proper place to help protect oceans and coasts from marine debris.

EPA recommends five simple actions that can prevent trash from becoming marine debris:

  • Never put anything down a storm drain;
  • Use reusable bags instead of disposable bags;
  • Choose products with less packaging when possible;
  • Replace disposable items with reusable ones such as bottles, plates, and cups; and
  • Recycle! Keep recyclables and trash in covered and secured containers.

When trash is not properly thrown away or recycled, it can wash down storm drains or get blown into streams, rivers, and oceans becoming marine debris. Marine debris, including plastic grocery bags and bottles, ropes, soda rings, fishing lines and other items, can threaten public safety, hurt the economy with costly cleanups and deterred tourism, and harm or kill marine life like seals, sea turtles, and birds.

Information on marine debris: epa.gov/owow/oceans/debris/

Ways to reduce waste: epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/