Volunteers remove 20,000kg of trash from North Sea beaches

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Nearly 1,500 volunteers took to North Sea beaches throughout August, cleaning up over 20,000 kilograms of trash left in the sand. Dubbed the "Boskalis Cleanup Beach Tour," the initiative scooped up three times more garbage then last year's effort.

Bags were filled with everything from fishing nets and hooks, to balloons, ribbons, toothbrushes and decorative pieces of plastic. On tourist beaches, volunteers collected a large amount of drink and snack containers, as well as plastic bags and cigarette butts.

"We are committed to a sustainable environment, a cleaner North Sea and the protection of marine life,” said volunteer Marchien de Ruiter. in an interview with the Utrecht Internet Courant. “In consultation with its users - fishing, shipping and tourism - we try to ensure that future generations can also enjoy the North Sea”.

Volunteers cleared the 350 kilometer stretch of coast line starting with Cadzand in the southern province of Zeeland, on up to the Frisian island Schiermonnikoog in the north.

The 31-day cleanup tour was organized by the North Sea Foundation with funding from maritime infrastructure firm Royal Boskalis Westminster and the Nationale Postcode Lotterij.