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Tips for Running a Successful Beach Cleanup

Want to run a beach cleanup but not sure where to start? 

Here are some tried and true tips for planning and running your own successful beach cleanup! 


Survey your local beaches for trash.

Check your local beaches for any heavily trash impacted areas. Areas with a stormwater drain or a sewage drain that lead to the beach or ocean most likely have lots of trash flow. 

Popular beaches that receive lots of visitors are also likely to have lots of trash. 

Make sure to set a time, date, and location and plan your event in advance. 



You don’t need much to get started! Beach cleanups are as simple as just picking up trash with your hands. But if you are looking to update your beach cleaning gear, try out these recommendations below! 

  • Gloves: Gloves protect your hands from mysterious trash items. You can reuse your gardening gloves from home or purchase new ones as your designated beach cleaning gloves. Pro tip: Always bring hand sanitizer with you, even if wearing gloves. 
  • Trash grabber: If you’d like to invest in more specialized beach cleaning gear, try out trash grabbers. Large metal tongs are great because they are sturdy and don’t break as easily as other plastic grabbers, but you always want to find what works best for you. 
  • Buckets: Buckets are also a great tool to use during cleanups. Buckets can be rinsed and reused after each cleanup. Pro tip: add stickers to your bucket to easily identify your bucket during large cleanups and add some style to your beach cleaning efforts. 
  • Hanging Scale: Looking to quantify your impact? A hanging scale allows you to determine the weight of each of your cleanups. Data like this is a great tool to show people just how much trash you’ve picked up. 
  • For your volunteers: Have your volunteers bring their beach cleaning essentials: sunscreen, hat, water, and comfortable shoes! Make sure to check weather conditions to dress appropriately! 




Spread the Word 

Once everything is planned, start spreading the word! Tell your friends, family, and use your social circles. Social media is a great tool for creating beach cleanup events. Create a post and repost to your stories on FB and IG. Ask your friends and family to share to their circles as well. Resharing to your stories serves as great reminders to those who want to attend! 


Trash Sorting 

After you run your cleanup, take the time to sort through your trash (this is where the gloves come in handy). Sort the recycling into a separate bin, and designate what goes into the landfill. Try to find alternative uses for items that are still in good condition. For example, donate forgotten sand toys to neighborhood kids. Sorting through the trash also gives you the opportunity to take pictures and document what kind of trash you find. Pictures are great tools to help others visualize how big our trash problem is. 


Don’t forget to share your beach cleaning effort with us! Use #ProgresswithPlaine


Happy beach cleaning! 



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