While fewer beachgoers are smoking cigarettes, more of them are having sex — but safely. Those are just a few of the findings released by Clean Ocean Action, a group that performs an annual cleanup of New Jersey’s coastline. On Tuesday, COA released a rundown of the 454,365 items recovered from Jersey’s sandy shores in 2018. Workers picked up about 22,000 cigarette butts, less than a quarter of those found the previous year, while the 565 condoms they found represented an increase of 56 percent. The bad news is 82 percent of the trash collected was plastic, which can be harmful or fatal to marine life. Other discarded items included counterfeit money, a restroom door, a sex toy, a plastic pig and loads of dirty diapers.
“The Beach Sweeps provides proof we humans can be a wasteful, sloppy, and pretty gross bunch,” says executive director Cindy Zipf. “Who leaves diapers on the beach? It’s bad enough that litter makes our beaches look terrible, but it also kills and maims marine life.”
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