The 8 Best Free Smartphone Apps to Help Keep Our Coastlines Clean

Unfortunately, it’s become common to see the beach and ocean littered with rubbish, from plastic bottles to straws and cigarette butts. Not only is keeping the coastline clean important for your health and quality of life, but it’s also important to protect the ocean’s ecosystem and marine life.

It’s time to make a change and keep the globe’s coastlines trash-free. Whether you’re tracking your trash or joining a beach cleanup, here are the top free Android and iOS apps to help you clean up your local beach.

1. Marine Debris Tracker

You certainly know how to declutter your home or workspace, but what about your local beach? Marine Debris Tracker is the ultimate trash tracker app for those who want to make a difference in their community, city, or country. The app is easy to use with one key goal, which is to make it painless for people to collect and log any litter or marine debris that they pick up.

To use Marine Debris Tracker all you have to do is log in and enable your location. From there, tap Quick Track to add the litter as you pick it up. The categories cover every type of material imaginable, from plastic and glass to fishing gear and lumber. Once you’re done collecting, you can upload and save your cleanup session. Alternatively, you can select an organization on the app and track your trash for that specific initiative.

Download: Marine Debris Tracker for iOS | Android (Free)

2. OceanHero

Because OceanHero is actually a browser, it’s a little different from the other apps on this list. The app works by recovering ocean-bound plastic bottles for every five browser searches that you do.

Like a regular browser, you can use OceanHero to search the web for whatever you wish; the only difference is that you’re saving the ocean at the same time. The more you search, the more levels you unlock, meaning less plastic in the ocean. Additionally, you can collect shells which increases the bottle counter at the top of the browser.

Because OceanHero makes browsing fun, you’re more likely to keep using it. Plus, it’s incredibly clean and smooth to use.

Download: OceanHero for iOS | Android (Free)

3. Clean Beach

Clean Beach’s aim is to make cleaning up our beaches really fun. It takes a reward-based approach to maintaining our coastlines, making it more enjoyable and satisfying. Also, the fact that you can unlock a higher ranking as you pick up rubbish adds motivation.

If you’re looking for a simple, uncomplicated app, why not give Clean Beach a try? Tap Start Collecting followed by whichever discarded items you’ve found during your cleanup session. Once you’re done tallying up your rubbish collection, tap Next and the app displays your location and a breakdown of all the waste items you’ve found. As you complete more trash collections, you’ll be rewarded with more badges.

Download: Clean Beach for Android (Free)

4. Clean Swell

Clean Swell is a trash tracker app that makes it truly easy to pick up rubbish and positively impact our coastlines. The app allows you to do three things—enter data from a trash collection device, start a new cleanup, or record a previous cleanup. For individuals or groups who collect trash, it’s best to use the second option. Here, you can input your information, such as the location, cleanup type, and how many people are involved.

Whether it’s diapers or foam packaging, every piece of litter you pick up is conveniently categorized on the app. Apart from using the Clean Swell app to clean at the beach, you can record your cleanups at the neighborhood parks, forests, woodlands, school grounds, and so on.

Download: Clean Swell for iOS | Android (Free)

5. BeachClean

Download the BeachClean app and join a movement of beach lovers who want to preserve the beauty of the world’s coastlines. BeachClean encourages you to get involved, even if it’s for as little as two minutes. The Home tab features posts from people around the globe who are also using the app to record their trash collected.

To log your own cleanup, tap the plus button, and add an optional photo or a comment. The next step involves finding and logging the items that you’ve removed, be it 10 food containers or one coffee cup. The key aspect of BeachClean is the friendly community of like-minded people who’ll motivate you to make a difference, even if it’s only for a few short minutes.

Download: BeachClean for iOS | Android (Free)

6. MyCoast

The MyCoast app differs from the rest because it’s not solely dedicated to beach cleanups. You can use the app to document and report on nuisance flooding, storm damage, king tides, abandoned vessels, and beach cleanup projects as well. Depending on what you’re logging, every single report is vital to help others make better decisions, like how to reduce plastic waste or help the local economy.

Using the MyCoast app is simple. Just tap Add Report, pick your state, choose the report type, and once you’ve input all the important information, it uploads automatically to the MyCoast server. Reporting on a beach cleanup is as easy as choosing the beach, figuring out how many volunteers are there, and taking a corresponding photo or two.

Download: MyCoast for iOS | Android (Free)

7. Litter CleanUp

Do you need a little motivation to go out daily and collect trash? The Litter CleanUp app is the perfect way to encourage yourself and others to keep our beaches clean. But regardless of whether you’re cleaning up your local park or hiking trail instead, you can still use the Litter CleanUp app.

The Litter CleanUp app works like this—snap a photo of the piece of trash you’re picking up, submit it, and track your progress. Rubbish Rewards, Streak Badges, and Referral Badges are part of the app’s rewards system. In addition to the rewards, you can communicate with other app members, view their progress, and even send friend requests.

Download: Litter CleanUp for iOS | Android (Free)

8. LitterLotto

There are so many amazing benefits to cleaning up your local beach, but it’s the lack of motivation that stops people from taking the time to do it. One way to get rid of litter completely is to go zero-waste, however, that’s a long journey.

Now, the best way to drive people to work together and keep our coastlines clean is to offer amazing discounts and prizes. Sure, it’s great to do your part and pick up trash, but what if you could win prizes simultaneously?

There is nothing complicated about the LitterLotto app. Take a picture of the litter as you put it in the bin, and you could win big. The more entries you and the community submit, the bigger the jackpots get. Furthermore, that means more trash in the bin and off the beaches.

Download: LitterLotto for iOS | Android (Free)

These Apps Can Keep Our Coastlines Happy and Healthy

In all likelihood, cleaning up the beach is something you want to do. However, it’s tough to know how to get started. For those who live close to the ocean, it’s a lot easier to have a passion for beach cleanups, but those who live further away may need more of a push.

Luckily, there is a selection of fantastic smartphone apps that can help encourage you to head down to your local beach and start cleaning. Not only will this small action save marine creatures, but trash tracking can also help reduce plastic waste. Wouldn’t it be nice to visit the ocean without seeing plastic bottles or cigarette butts? To make a change, be sure to use these apps to help keep our beautiful coastlines clean.

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