Keep America Beautiful: As States Reopen, Proper Disposal of Litter and Trash Remains Paramount

STAMFORD, Conn. (May 14, 2020) – As states and cities across the country move forward with plans to reopen parts of their economies and more people go outdoors and seek recreation in public spaces, including parks and beaches, national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful® issued an urgent reminder to all Americans to properly dispose of trash and litter as they venture outside.

“As more states roll out plans to reopen portions of their communities, we want to remind everyone that we all must continue to do our part to keep beaches, parks, waterways, and streets safe and clean. As COVID-19 continues to pose an ongoing threat, it is imperative that we stay vigilant and properly dispose of trash and litter that could potentially harm wildlife and spread the virus,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman.

In recent weeks, several states have reopened portions of their society and have seen an influx in littering and improper trash disposal.

“As we approach the Memorial Day holiday weekend and more people go outside due to warmer weather, we expect incidents of littering and improper trash disposal to increase,” added Lowman. “Any bottles, cans, wrappers or napkins can be a health hazard if left behind for someone else to pick up.”

In Brevard County, Florida, teams from Keep America Beautiful affiliate Keep Brevard Beautiful (KBB) collected nearly 300 bags of trash from Cocoa Beach when beaches were first allowed to reopen in the state. On average, crews collect 30 to 40 bags a day during this time of year, according to KBB Executive Director Bryan Bobbitt.

Last month, Keep America Beautiful sent an urgent alert to its national network of more than 650 community-based affiliates, asking them to spread the word among their millions of volunteers about the proper way to dispose of personal protective equipment (PPE). The letter to affiliates noted that failing to properly dispose of PPE will hurt the environment and could spread COVID-19. Read the alert here. Moreover, when public volunteer events reconvene, Keep America Beautiful urges volunteers to continue practicing physical distancing, and heed local and state guidelines.

For more information about Keep America Beautiful, please go to kab.org.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green, and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change steeped in education, research, and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice, and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 650 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.

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(Photo courtesy of Keep Martin Beautiful from video produced by Steve Martine Photography.)