Volunteers of the Vancouver Island chapter of the Surfrider Foundation collected 590 kilograms of marine debris last week as part of their annual remote beach cleanup event, Combing the Coast.

They collected Styrofoam, plastic bottles, hard plastics and other junk from Rugged Point Provincial Park, on the west coast of the north Island. Items found by the group are typically sent to the landfill, but this time around about half was taken to Ellice Recycle.

“This year we were able to divert a large amount of the debris from the landfill,” said Lucas Harris, chairman of the local chapter. “Our volunteer efforts and partnership with businesses like Ellice show that marine debris can be managed — it can be removed from our beaches and recycled.”

The group, which monitors and removes marine debris from beaches from Port Renfrew to Cadboro Bay, undertakes monthly cleanups and advocacy work, trying to stop these items from ending up in ocean in the first place.

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