SUMMERSIDE — Fast food containers, rubber gloves, condoms, even a tent.
© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
Misty Gallant is one of the organizers of the local Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which takes place Sunday along Summerside’s waterfront. She hopes, through the initiative, people will learn to put trash where it belongs — in a garbage can.
These were among the items Misty Gallant found along Summerside’s beach during last year’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Gallant, along with Pam McNeill and Jim Day, are organizing this year’s event, which is part of a national initiative to clean up this country’s shorelines.
“We all gather and then we branch off into groups, walk along the beach and pick up garbage and clean it up,” said Gallant. “Last year, we started behind Wendy’s and went all the way down Green’s Shore.”
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
It began when a small team of employees and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium decided to clean up a local beach in Stanley Park.
Last year, there were 1,815 registered clean up sites across the country, with 3,102 kilometers of shorelines cleaned and 12,895 garbage bags filled by more than 57,000 participants. The garbage collected weighed a whopping 136,036 kilograms.
The most commonly found item was cigarette butts followed by food wrappers and then plastic bags, caps and lids.
On P.E.I., 362 people at 16 sites helped clean 34.9 kilometres of shoreline. A total of 830 kilograms of waste was collected and 3,435 items removed, which filled 107 garbage and 14 recycling bags.
Among the peculiar items found was a tube of toothpaste, a metal lawn chair, plunger, an old-style tricycle and a number of softballs.
“There was a lot of fast food stuff, beer plastics, not so nice things,” Gallant said about last year’s cleanup. “There were rubber gloves, condoms and underwear. We even found a tent. It looked like someone was using it as a home but had been long abandoned.”
About 25 to 30 people participated in the Summerside cleanup and collected close to 20 bags of trash.
Gallant walks the boardwalk regularly and often sees litter on the beach.
“It’s sad to see all the garbage that is there,” she added. “Throw it in the garbage can.”
Anyone wishing to participate in Sunday’s clean up in Summerside can register online or simply stop by the green space at Green’s Shore at 1 p.m.
For more information or to register, visit www.shorelinecleanup.ca.