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May 24, 2013 - Per Peterson
If you're one of those people who never litters, I commend you (but I'm not sure I believe you). If you're one of those people who chuck trash from you car after polishing off your fast food, shame, shame, and may a cop be following you the next time you do it. And if you are a litterbug, you're not alone by a long shot. Just how poorly do we treat this planet? Consider these numbers compiled by the Ocean Conservancy, a Washington D.C.-based environmental organization, which released its 2012 list of trash collected during its International Coastal Cleanup: 1. Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters: 2,117,931 2. Food Wrappers/Containers: 1,140,222 3. Plastic Beverage Bottles: 1,065,171 4. Plastic Bags: 1,019,902 5. Caps/Lids: 958,893 6. Cups, Plates, Forks, Knives, Spoons: 692,767 7. Straws/Stirrers: 611,048 8. Glass Beverage Bottles: 521,730 9. Beverage Cans: 339,875 10. Paper Bags: 298,332 In all, more than 10 million pounds of debris was collected globally, with more than 769,000 pounds brought in in California alone. What is wrong with us? I don't know what's more mind-boggling — the sheer numbers of these individual items, or the fact that people actually sorted through all this junk to deliver these embarrassing numbers.
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