See Plastic in a National Park? Log It on This Website for Science

Article by Angely Mercado: “You’re hiking through glorious nature when you see it—a dirty, squished plastic water bottle along the trail. Instead of picking it up and impotently cursing the litterer, you can now take another small helpful step—you can report the trash to a new data project that aims to inspire policy change. Environmental nonprofit 5 Gyres is asking national park visitors in the U.S. to log trash they see through a new site called TrashBlitz.

The organization, which is dedicated to reducing plastic pollution, created TrashBlitz to gather data on how much, and what kind, of plastic and other litter is clogging our parks. They want to encourage realistic plastic pollution reduction plans for all 63 national parks.

Once registered on the TrashBlitz website, park visitors can specify the types of trash that they’ve spotted, such as if the discarded item was used for food packaging. According to 5 Gyres, the data will contribute to a report to be published this fall on the top items discarded, the materials, and the brands that have created the most waste across national parks…(More)”.