Provided by Google Translate
Provided by Google Translate

Fighting for Trash Free Seas®

Ending the flow of trash at the source

International Trash Trap Network

Connecting Local Solutions to Tackle Global Plastic Pollution


The Problem

Globally, the contamination of plastic waste in freshwater, marine and coastal ecosystems is increasing. We estimate that roughly 30 million tons of plastic waste entered aquatic ecosystems in 2020. If we continue business as usual, this number may increase as much as three-fold by 2030. There is no time to wasteand we all must do our part.

The Solution

The International Trash Trap Network (ITTN) is a collaboration between Ocean Conservancy and the U of T Trash Team to inspire groups around the world to trap trash on their waterfronts, and to quantify this impact collectively as part of the International Coastal Cleanup™. Our goal is to exponentially increase the International Coastal Cleanup’s™ annual collection. We also aim to target the small plastic pieces, including microplastics, that are often too challenging to collect by hand.

Trash trapping technologies are an effective tool for reducing the amount of plastic waste in our aquatic systems. They are an important addition to community cleanups, trapping trash around the clock and helping us increase the amount of litter collected. There are many successful trash trapping technologies and we aim to link these local efforts while inspiring new projects across the globe.

If we truly combine our efforts to strengthen and increase the amount of plastic waste cleaned up around the world, we can make a measurable difference. And we can do it better together.

Trash trapping technologies do more than divert litter from aquatic ecosystems. They collect data, allowing us to quantitatively measure our impact and inform local source-reduction by understanding what we are collecting. They also raise awareness, and can be a centerpiece for education and outreach, inspiring imagination in the community and gaining attention from the media.

Contact us at [email protected], and connect with the International Trash Trap Network on Facebook and Twitter to find out more.

Our Impact

Each year we quantify both our local and global trash trapping efforts. Check out our latest network-wide annual results below!

2022 Top 10 Large Items for the International Trash Trap Network
Explore previous reports here:

Measuring Our Impact

If you work with a trash trapping device you can help increase your impact and contribute to this growing network by collecting and submitting data about what you’re collecting. The resources below will help you collect and share data from trash trapping devices with the International Trash Trap Network.

Sharing & Collecting Your Data
There are two ways to collect data:

  1. A simple daily quantification of litter
  2. A deep dive analysis (we recommend you carry this out 5-10 times a year).

The protocols below can help you capture your data:

Once you’ve collected your data, you can share it with the International Trash Trap Network in a few ways:

These training video are helpful guides on using these protocols:

Simple Waste Characterization Protocol Tutorial
Detailed Waste Characterization Protocol Tutorial

Additional Resources

Educational Resources

Trash Trap Activities: Educator’s Guide

This educator’s guide contains three activities designed for members of the International Trash Trap Network to use for local education and outreach.

Trash Trap Activity Workbook

This activity workbook accompanies the educator’s guide and contains three activities to learn about trash traps as part of the solution to plastic pollution.

Visual Audit

Prior to purchasing or deploying your trash trap, we recommend you assess your watershed. We have developed an easy method to determine the best placement for your device and the most suitable device for your location:

Trash Trapping Project Checklist

The Trash Trapping Project Checklist is a step-by-step guide for new trash trapping efforts, from identifying suitable locations for device installation, to considering local stakeholders to involve in the short and long term. We encourage groups to follow these steps for an impactful and sustainable trash trapping project.

Virtual Workshops

In October 2022, we hosted two virtual ‘International Trash Trap Network’ workshops. Within these workshops we aimed to build local capacity within the Caribbean and West Africa regions for trapping trash as a solution to the global issue of plastic pollution. We shared our recipe for success and our tools for harmonized data collection. Through our virtual workshops we hope to provide the tools necessary to plan and carry out a successful trash trapping project. Watch the replay of these workshops below.

International Trash Trap Network Workshop: West Africa
International Trash Trap Network Workshop: Caribbean
2021 Workshop

In March 2021 we held a virtual ‘Trapping Trash and Diverting it from our Waterways’ workshop for capacity building and learning about trapping trash. In this workshop we shared the value of trash capture devices both as a technology for cleanup and a tool for measuring our impact. We also launched the International Trash Trap network to bring together different stakeholders from across the globe to work together to use trash traps to divert litter, collect data and increase awareness in their communities.Watch the replay of days 1 and 2 of the 2021 workshop below.

Day 1
Day 2

More Information

Back to Top Up Arrow