San Diego Surfrider volunteers remove nearly 1,500 pounds of trash after July 4

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jul 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 19:25:10-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - More than 500 volunteers with the San Diego Surfrider Foundation took to the beaches Thursday, but not to catch waves.

The volunteers combed over the Ocean Beach Pier, Fiesta Island, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, and the Oceanside Pier picking up trash from July 4 festivities.

In total, the group collected 1,493 pounds of trash. The haul contained about 8,000 cigarette butts, 1,535 plastic food wrappers, and even some more obscure items like a head massager and garage door opener.

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The majority of the rubbage was made up of single-use plastic bags, according to the group.

"The more people visit the beach, the more trash ends up on the beach. But it doesn't have to be that way," Mitch Silverstein, San Diego's Surfrider chapter coordinator, said. "Most of what our volunteers pick up could be avoided if we chose reusable items instead of single-use ones. Start simple: reusable bags, reusable water bottle, reusable coffee mug. Those three items will cut your waste footprint drastically, and they'll help keep our streets & beaches clean.”

The group says few holidays generate more trash at the beach than July 4. The locations cleaned Thursday were chosen because of the high concentration of beachgoers and reputations for litter.