Plastic on Jersey shore beaches poses risk, group says

New Jersey news from Eyewitness News

April 12, 2012 6:12:39 AM PDT
Cigarette butts no longer lead the list of debris collected in an annual sweep of New Jersey's 127 miles of beaches and bays.

The Clean Ocean Action environmental group on Wednesday released the results of its 2011 beach sweep. Volunteers collected nearly 453,000 pieces of debris.

For the first time in 19 years, cigarette filters dropped from the top three most collected items. Clean Ocean Action's Tavia Danch says the decline may reflect more smoking bans on beaches, more appropriate disposal or an overall decline in smokers.

Plastic pieces, plastic bottle caps and plastic food wrappers led the list. The group says plastic poses a threat to marine life.

Some of the other plastic items included vampire teeth, Easter eggs and a dinosaur.

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