Hawaii Beaches Are Dirtier Than You Think

02/04/2015 03:58 pm ET
dutourdumonde via Getty Images

Last week, the Surfrider Foundation and the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii conducted four simultaneous beach clean-ups on Oahu (Ewa), Kauai (Anahola) and the Big Island (Kona and Hilo).

Over 360 volunteers collected more than 15,000 cigarette butts, 3,426 pieces of plastic and 1,386 pieces of foam — among the most littered items in the world, according to Surfrider coordinator Stuart Coleman.

The purpose for the clean-up — besides taking care of the land — was to launch efforts to support statewide legislation for tobacco-free beaches and parks.

Lawmakers in Hawaii are currently looking at House Bill 525, which would prohibit smoking and the use of tobacco, electronic smoking devices and betel nut products within the state’s park system.

“Currently, three out of four counties have passed tobacco or smoke-free beach ordinances and we want to keep building upon those successes with statewide legislation to clear up inconsistencies across counties,” Jessica Yamauchi, the coalition’s executive director, said in a press release Tuesday.

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