Trash in the ocean is created by littering, oil, pesticides, accidents, and improper disposal of chemicals. This debris not only hurts our environment but also the marine life by ingesting or entanglement. Trash reaches the ocean from far distances such as the trash on the street that may ned up in our waterways and eventually into the ocean or enter storm drains which are not filtered before arriving into the water.
Plastic, glass, metal (aluminum cans) and paper make up the majority of items found as trash in the ocean. Plastic makes up almost 90% of the marine debris and poses the most harm because of its durability and ability to concentrate toxins by absorption. Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down.
There are programs available to participate and clean up our beaches. Try checking out Adopt-A-Beach programs for more details in your area. San Diego, CA has a great program to check out and here are a couple more programs, CleanSD and Coastal Commission.