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Towards cleaner shores: Assessing the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup's most recent data on volunteer engagement and litter removal along the coast of British Columbia, Canada

Konecny, Cassandra, Fladmark, Vanessa, De la Puente, Santiago
Marine pollution bulletin 2018 v.135 pp. 411-417
beaches, coasts, containers, pollution control, recycling, shorelines, water pollution, British Columbia
This paper analyzes voluntary cleanups organized by the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) along the coast of British Columbia (2013–2016). Cleanup performance indicators, litter composition and diversity were compared between years and across areas (i.e., North Coast of British Columbia, Inner Coast of Vancouver Island, West Coast of Vancouver Island, and Southern Strait of Georgia). Significant differences in parameters were found between areas but not across time. Spatial variation in trash composition and diversity was mostly related to source of litter. Trash yield per kilometre of shoreline was higher in isolated areas and in areas with exposed shorelines. The majority of recovered litter items were composed of plastic. Local actions, complementary to the GCSC, such as banning single-use, non-biodegradable takeout containers on beaches, implementing trash buyback programs, and modifying waste management and recycling regulations, are proposed as mechanisms for strengthening the prevention and mitigation of coastal pollution in British Columbia.