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It’s Time to Clean Up Plastic in the National Parks

WHEN IT COMES TO POLLUTION, everybody wants to play the blame game. Putting the onus on this entity or that manufacturer takes the burden off of our own shoulders. It’s true that corporations contribute far more to pollution rates than individuals. But without specifics to back that up, there’s no way to hold those corporations responsible and nowhere to direct our condemnations. Criticism can’t be constructive if it doesn’t have anywhere concrete to land. 

Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins from the 5 Gyres Institute saw a way to make the blame game more productive. After the Department of the Interior announced the initiative to phase out single-use plastic in national parks, the team at 5 Gyres started digging deeper. They knew not much could actually come of that decision without a better understanding of the source.

New research from their Plastic-Free Parks campaign reveals the worst offenders of plastic pollution throughout national parks all over the country. They pulled the data from observations by park visitors, giving everyday outdoorsmen the chance to take their own piece of ownership over the project. The study calls out the most prevalent brands and items found on the scene as first targets. 

The Marlboros and Coca-Colas of the world deserve to bear the blame. Now, thanks to 5 Gyres, we can finally prove it. 

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