‘Sweep’ volunteers removed 454,365 pieces of debris from N.J. beaches in 2018

In this April 2012 photo, three teens participate in beach sweeps sponsored by the Clean Ocean Action environmental group, removing thousands of items that were either left behind by beachgoers, or that washed up with the tides after being discarded elsewhere. (Wayne Parry/AP Photo, file)

In this April 2012 photo, three teens participate in beach sweeps sponsored by the Clean Ocean Action environmental group, removing thousands of items that were either left behind by beachgoers, or that washed up with the tides after being discarded elsewhere. (Wayne Parry/AP Photo, file)

What do a 1930s Philadelphia rail token, Trivial Pursuit cards, a Barbie doll, a Nirvana t-shirt, and dentures all have in common?

They’re just five out of 454,365 pieces of debris removed from New Jersey beaches last year by volunteer participants in Clean Ocean Action’s biannual “Beach Sweeps,” the state’s largest volunteer-drive environmental cleanup at over 60 shoreline locations.

According to the Sandy Hook-based organization’s 2018 Beach Sweeps annual report, 10,148 volunteers collected, tallied, and removed debris, with disposable plastic once again representing the majority of the total waste found (nearly 82 percent).

Just about everything — including the kitchen sink — was found.

Additional bizarre findings include a door from a safe, a cuff link shaped like a crow, a pregnancy test, and a shoe with a bottle of hot sauce in it.

Clean Ocean Action reported a sharp increase in balloons, condoms, and glass pieces and significant declines in 55 gallon drums and cigarette filters.

More than 133,390 volunteers have removed nearly seven million pieces of litter over more than three decades.

“The greatest success of the Beach Sweeps are the take-home lessons: citizens taking responsibility for the environment, making a difference, teamwork, and commitment,” the organization said in a news release.

The 33rd annual spring sweep is on Saturday, April 13. Click here for more info.

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