Litter and Marine Debris

Much more than an eyesore

Litter and marine debris are a serious environmental problem. Oregon's most common litter includes cigarette butts, plastic bottles and caps, food wrappers, and plastic bags. These items and more are often confused with food, resulting in malnutrition, entanglement, or strangulation. 

bird with plastic

Even the smallest bits of trash can be harmful. For example, cigarette butts flow into storm drains, then directly to our rivers and streams. The chemicals they retain are released as they flow downstream to the ocean. Just as troubling, cigarette butts, tiny bits of plastic, and other trash are readily eaten by marine life. If we eat seafood, we may also ingest these contaminants. 



You Can Help


starbucks volunteers

The time and energy you spend volunteering with SOLVE has a huge impact on Oregon's environment. In the last year alone, SOLVE volunteers picked up 365,000 pounds of trash, with over 7.5 MILLION pounds of trash picked up over the last 10 years. Your hard work keeps our neighborhoods and natural areas clean.

Our beaches need you! Click here to learn what you can do if you see marine debris.

Pick It Up

volunteers picking up trash

Pick up trash whenever you see it. Remember that the small pieces are often the most harmful, because birds don't eat tires!

Educate and Inform

Kids cleaning up

Without preaching, explain to others about the need to pick up litter. If necessary, remind folks that littering is a crime, with the strongest penalties for littering near waterways. Inform law enforcement agencies about violators immediately.


Learn More


Marine Debris


Volunteer for an Event

There are many events coming up!

Find an Event →

Become a SOLVE Donor

We rely on supporters like you to help us achieve clean water, stronger communities, and a better future for Oregon.

Support Solve→

Stay Connected

Keep up to date with the latest news and volunteer information
News letter signup form