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Home > Where Does the Garbage That Washes Up on the Beach Come From? > Garbage in the Pacific > What Can We Do to Help Keep Beaches Clean?

Where does the garbage that washes up on the beach come from?
What Can We Do to Help Keep Beaches Clean?

A girl carrying a full recycling bin.

There is plenty that everyone can do to lessen the amount of garbage in our oceans and on our beaches:

  • Use fewer disposable and non-biodegradable products. This could be as simple as drinking tap water instead of bottled water. Remember—the plastic bottle that you use for just a short while will be around for a very long time.

  • Dispose of your trash in the right way. Do not litter. It might end up in our oceans.

  • Recycle. It helps keep garbage such as glass, plastic and metal out of our oceans.

  • Join clean-up activities, or start your own!

Join an International Clean-Up Crew

A man and five boys carry an old wire cage on a beach.

A clean-up crew on a beach of the Musquodoboit River, Nova Scotia.

People of all ages and across the globe clear garbage from shorelines during the third week of September every year.

The Canadian initiative is the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Although it is run by its founder, the Vancouver Aquarium, eager volunteers clean up sites all over the country.

Particular attention is given to protected areas such as Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which is on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, and Gros Morne National Park, on the Atlantic.

63 000 Volunteers Like You!

Children with bags of garbage along a river.

What started as a small beach cleanup has become the second-largest cleanup in the world! In 2008, about 63 000 volunteers cleared 2100 kilometres of shoreline across Canada.

You can participate in the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Suggest a shore to clean in your neighbourhood, or join an existing clean-up team. Find out more at


Garbage in the Pacific
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