Volunteers collected about 2.5 tonnes of waste on Sunday at 150 registered Clean Up Australia Day sites in Sutherland Shire.
Beverage containers, cigarette butts and packets, and fast food packaging were among the most common items found.
Volunteers collected enough rubbish at Silver beach, Kurnell, to fill 10 bags with recyclable and non-recyclable waste.
Site coordinator Sarah-Jo Lobwein said 83 plastic bags, four syringes and a sofa were among the items found at the beach and around Bonna Point boat ramp.
One diver and four snorkelers found fishing knives, golf balls and plastic water bottles.
Bonna Point was one of only nine registered Clean Up dive sites in NSW.
Dive sites last year ranked the 10th most-polluted sites with 437 items of rubbish found.
‘‘I felt we had really accomplished something yesterday but it did not help that as we were leaving I saw two men drop their cigarette butts on the ground right next to where there was a bin,’’ Mrs Lobwein said.
‘‘The beach was not as dirty as I thought it would be but if you had never been to the beach before you would of thought otherwise.’’
Since its inception, volunteers have removed 288,650 tonnes of rubbish from 145,754 sites in Australia.
Mrs Lobwein’s husband has started two Twitter hashtags to increase awareness about littering in Australia.
Use #pickedupasingle if you dispose of a single-used plastic item, such as a drink bottle, found on the ground or #rejectedasingle if you say ‘‘no’’ to an offer of a plastic straw when buying a beverage.
IN ST GEORGE:
Oatley Pleasure Ground and the Oatley Bay foreshore are rubbish-free because of a major effort by Scouting groups.
Scouts NSW environment commissioner, clean-up coordinator and former Hurstville mayor, Bill Pickering, said the First Oatley Bay Scouts and leaders had spend four hours in the heat on Sunday to collect 10 large bags of assorted rubbish including plastic bottles, aluminium cans, paper wrappings, cigarette butts and various rusty objects.
Mr Pickering said Scouts in NSW put in an excellent effort, with at least 110 groups, equating to about 3300 volunteers, registering for the clean-up event.
‘‘This is a record effort for us on the 25th anniversary of Clean Up Australia Day,’’ Mr Pickering said.
What’s the strangest thing you found during the clean up on Sunday?