Pair walks entire coast of Florida, picking up trash

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That plastic straw or fork you had at lunch was likely used for less than an hour then tossed in the garbage. The convenience of single-use plastics has led to a tremendous amount of pollution in the environment. 

Right now, a duo is walking around the entire Florida peninsula to raise awareness about plastic waste. 

The journey started back on March 1, and over the last 99-days, Bryan Galvin and Heather Bolint with Plastic Symptoms have been trekking around the coast of the state.

“We are out there on the beach and we are picking up plastic,” said Heather. “There’s a lot of debris that ends up on the beach, a lot of it is litter that people toss out on the beach or leave on the beach while they’re there, a lot of it washes in from the ocean.”

Dubbed ‘Plas Trek 2019,’ the non-profit’s goal is to bring attention to just how much plastic pollution there is in our environment and the importance of avoiding single-use plastics.

“Every piece of plastic that you have probably ever touched is still in the environment somewhere,” Bryan said. “It’s either a microplastic now in our water, in our ocean, in our drinking water, or it’s somewhere in a landfill or an animal’s gut.”

The duo has covered about 900 of their planned 1,200-mile hike. They won’t stop until they reach Pensacola.

“This truck bed full is everything we found on the Gulf Coast so far,” said Heather. “So all these bags are full of plastic that we’ve been finding.”

So far, they’ve cleaned up about 2,000 pounds of plastic from our beaches.

Most plastics take hundreds of years to break down, and even then they just splinter into very small pieces called microplastics, which will likely never biodegrade.

During the trek, Bryan and Heather are also collecting data that will be used to show what plastic pollution was found on the coastline.

“Collecting and geo-tagging plastics so we can implement a map of all the plastics and the biggest polluters that are in our environment,” explained Bryan.

They hope to wrap up the project by the end of this month, using people’s poor plastic decisions to make a positive change here in Florida.

“Hopefully we can try to pass some laws and get some more proactive legislation in the state to prevent this plastic from ending up on the shores in the first place,” Heather said.

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