Plastic Pollution Initiative - After Action Report
For the month of October, numerous organizations in the QC region participated in citizen scientist data collection. Those of us in the Environmental Forum participated in collecting litter and submitting information about the specifics to the Marine Debris Tracker app on our phones. Staff at the University of Georgia, National Geographic, and the United Nations Environment Programme analyzed the data and provided an overview at a Zoom conference on November 17th.
Data was collected from 6476 volunteers, who collected debris from an area equivalent to over 10,000 football fields. Significant take-aways included that the largest sources of litter were cigarette butts and food wrappers, with 76% of the material being made of plastic. What will be done with this data depends in large part upon our city commitments to reduce litter, particularly plastic litter. Ideas discussed at the meeting included modifying city contracts with mowing companies, who may not always clear trash before mowing. The trash is then chopped into little pieces, which then permeates our soil and water. There was also discussion of expanding Keep America Beautiful projects, and increasing the number of trash and recycling receptacles all around our communities. If you are interested in working on a litter campaign, contact the Environmental Forum.