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Florida non-profit cleaning beaches with litter-sifting robot

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March 25 (UPI) -- A Florida nonprofit has enlisted the help of a unique robot to clean cigarette butts, bottle caps and other small pieces of litter from the state's beaches.

The nonprofit Keep Florida Beautiful said the beach cleaning robot, BeBot, was donated to the group by Surfing's Evolution and Preservation Foundation.

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"It is meant to go over soft dry sand and it sifts the very top layer of sand, removing very small pieces of debris that are often missed in manual cleanups," Savanna Christy, executive director of Keep Florida Beautiful, told WKMG-TV.

Christy said the robot is not yet sensitive enough to clear microplastics, which measure 5 millimeters and smaller, but it can sift out anything larger than a squared centimeter.

"It does pick up plastic fragments, bottle caps, cigarette butts, plastic straws, food wrappers -- you name it, it's picking it up and sifting it out of the sand," Christy said.

Keep Florida Beautiful is the first nonprofit in the nation to use the remote-controlled robot for beach cleaning, the organization said.

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