CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A group of 40 international volunteers rang in the new year clearing firework debris from Sand Key Beach in Clearwater on Sunday.

Volunteers said firework debris leaves litter behind and can affect the water quality by altering the taste and odor. Any malfunctioning fireworks also have the potential for an explosion which can cause wildfires.

The community service effort aimed to raise awareness for marine life protection and the coastal environment from the “dangers of firework debris.”

“It’s so common to celebrate New Year’s with fireworks that it never crossed my mind how dangerous it could be to the natural habitat or the animals,” a WeLoveU Foundation volunteer said at the cleanup.

The cleanup was a part of the foundation’s Clean WORLD Movement, an environmental initiative maintained since 2009. Volunteers clean polluted cities, parks, mountains, rivers, and seas across 58 countries to promote a cleaner world. The foundation said they have held over 1,600 cleanups and reached more than 250,000 participants.

The volunteer’s united efforts collected 25 bags of trash. For more information, visit