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How can we reduce pollution on the beach?

Social Design  |  Augmented Reality  |  Identity


Studies show that beach pollution is harmful to coastal wildlife, threatens human health, and can degrade the quality of life in coastal communities. According to the 2022 Ocean Conservancy report, it found there was over 3.3 million items, such as cigarette butts, bottle caps, and food wrappers were collected on U.S. beaches. Research also indicates that people are aware of the harm littering does on beaches but are not sure how to help. In a survey of 47 people, 53% said they are willing to participate in beach cleanups, only if it is locally. In the same survey, 63% of them are willing to help with beach clean-ups virtually. To combat the problem of beach pollution, the Pick It Up campaign promotes an augmented reality experience of beach clean-ups. Pick It Up aims to inform people about the harms of beach littering, clean-up, and etiquette.

How can we reduce pollution on the beach?


Total Items of trash

Cigarette butts

Plastic bottle caps

Food wrappers

Types of beach pollution

Chemical Contamination

Marine Trash

What beach pollution does

Injure or kill wildlife

Damage or degrade habitats

How much beach pollution is there





Field research

2 hour walk on NJ beach resulted in:

200+ Cigarette butts

112 Plastic Items

40 Food Wrappers

12 Miscellaneous 


Based on the research collected, the solution developed into an augmented reality experience aims at teaching proper beach etiquette and actions to keep beaches clean. This experience will provide an engaging way for people to learn about beach cleanup, appropriate beach behavior, and enlightening facts about the amount of trash left on beaches each year, accessible from the comfort of home or anywhere else.


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