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Researchers and Policy Makers

We want YOU to use our data as a tool.

Shoreline Cleanup data

Our data is an accumulation of nearly 30 years of citizen science-led shoreline cleanups. Thanks to the efforts of the almost 1,000,000 volunteers who have collected litter data on shorelines across North America, our dataset is extremely robust - making it a powerful tool to help decisionmakers address plastic pollution at its source. The Shoreline Cleanup dataset is open source and available, making it accessible to researchers, policy makers and anyone who's curious about the impact of shoreline cleanups.

How does it work?

Each time a Shoreline Cleanup volunteer completes a shoreline cleanup, they are also collecting data on the number, weight and type of items they find. We compile all of that information into our database, which we then share locally and internationally.

Notably, our citizen science data has been cited in scientific papers and has informed litter-related policy. Municipal single-use reduction strategies, provincial analysis on the impacts of foam docks and federal action to ban unnecessary single-use plastics have all been influenced by our shoreline cleanup data.

Why use our data?

We see our Shoreline Cleanup data as a tool to empower strides in plastic reduction research and policy. We want you to use it however you see fit to accomplish your plastic reduction goals - here are just a few examples of the applications of our data.

For researchers, Shoreline Cleanup data can help make a connection between current research topics in plastic pollution, and the types of litter found on shorelines, providing important temporal and spatial links.

For policy makers, perhaps this data can help inform where single-use plastic policy needs to be targeted, or towards which items.

Explore our data

Every Ocean Wise Shoreline Cleanup participant is a citizen scientist. While our volunteers are out collecting litter, they record the number, weight and type of items they find onto our litter Data Card. We compile all that indispensable information in our national litter database and share it locally and internationally.

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Plastic reduction policies

Visit our library of policies, bylaws and other legislation that municipalities within Canada and internationally have used to successfully tackle plastic waste in their own communities.

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