Human detritus that clutters the state's beaches each year — soda caps, potato chip wrappers, plastic bags — will get a new home this Saturday during the California Coastal Commission's annual beach cleanup.
The state agency, and an army of citizen volunteers, will collect tons of litter and send it to landfills and recycling centers according to Eben Schwartz, Marine Debris Program Manager for the Coastal Commission.
"It's an enormous amount of debris that we’re pulling out," says Schwartz. Last year volunteers gathered more than 1.1 million pounds of trash and recyclables.
The waste isn't just unsightly, Schwartz says, it's also dangerous to marine animals that can consume small fragments or become entangled in larger debris.
"It's incredibly hazardous in a number of ways," says Schwartz.