A Voice for Our Ocean

MEDIA ADVISORY: After a Pandemic Hiatus, Ocean Conservancy Invites Washingtonians to Safely Clean Up the Anacostia

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Sept. 18 Cleanup to Offer Glimpse of the Global Plastic Pollution Crisis as D.C. Strives for Zero Waste

Ocean Conservancy data show that majority of trash found on beaches and waterways globally over past 35 years was destined for landfill or the environment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – D.C.-based environmental nonprofit Ocean Conservancy is bringing its flagship International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) event back to D.C. this Saturday, September 18, and seeks volunteers to help tackle the ocean plastics crisis right from the nation’s capital. The event, which has attracted crowds of more than 1,000 in recent years, was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. This weekend’s event will be comparatively scaled back to allow for proper social distancing, but the organization still expects that hundreds of masked Washingtonians will pitch in to clean thousands of pounds of trash from Kingman Island and the shores of the Anacostia River.

To coincide with the cleanup, Ocean Conservancy released its annual ICC report just yesterday, analyzing 35 years of ICC data. The report revealed that more than two-thirds of the most commonly collected items found on beaches and waterways around the world are effectively unrecyclable, and of these, nearly half are food and beverage related. The report also found widespread confusion about the recyclability of food ware: on average, six in 10 Americans made incorrect assumptions about the recyclability of common plastic food delivery containers.

The D.C. government has taken steps in recent years to tackle food packaging waste, including implementing a straw ban in 2019. The city passed the Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act in December 2020, which required all third-party food ordering platforms to make disposable cutlery, napkins, condiment packages, and straws opt-in only by July of this year; and all restaurants with their own ordering platforms and apps to comply by 2022.

WHO: D.C.-based nonprofit Ocean Conservancy and up to 300 local volunteers

WHAT: Flagship International Coastal Cleanup event

WHEN: Saturday, September 18, 9 AM – Noon

WHERE: Kingman Island

NOTE: Volunteers can register on Eventbrite.


About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

About Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program

Ocean Conservancy has led the fight for a clean, healthy ocean free of trash since 1986, when the U.S.-based nonprofit launched its annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). Since then, Ocean Conservancy has mobilized millions of ICC volunteers to remove trash from beaches and waterways around the world while pioneering upstream solutions to the growing ocean plastics crisis. Ocean Conservancy invests in cutting-edge scientific research, implements on-the-ground projects, and works with conservationists, scientists, governments, the private sector and members of the public to change the plastics paradigm. To learn more about our Trash Free Seas® program visit

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