By Isaiah Jenkins and Gabby Parzygnat
Approximately 80% of plastic in the ocean comes from land-based sources. Nonprofit organizations in the Jacksonville community such as Beaches Go Green are coming up with ways to help reduce waste.
Beaches Go Green is a Jacksonville nonprofit that focuses on not only waste cleanup but educating the population on what they can do to also help. Statistics are displayed to viewers informing them of statistics on their work in recycling and reducing waste.Beaches Go Green through private funding and volunteer help has collected over 40,000 cigarette butts from Jacksonville beaches.
Cigarette butts which can last up to 5 years before decomposing is a big factor in waste buildup. Beaches Go Green has also amounted over 5,000 volunteer hours and averted over 4,000 plastic water bottles from being improperly disposed or recycled.
Founder of Beaches Go Green Anne Marie Moquin highlighted that the goal of the nonprofit is to raise awareness to the public of proper recycling and how waste is affecting the planet.
“I started Beaches Go Green in June of 2018 and our whole purpose and mission is education and awareness about the waste that we produce and how it’s effecting the planet. A lot of the products that are available to us are convenience based and they’re single use plastic particularly and so we’re burning through this single use plastic without the understanding of how long it’s actually going to be on our planet,” said Moquin.
Moquin has also found a unique way to not only reduce trash and plastic but turn it into something creative. Deck the Chairs is Beaches Go Green’s second annual event displays several artistic pieces along Jacksonville Beach. The artistic pieces are entirely made out of plastic and waste.
“Launching on November 23, it’s our single use art installation at Deck the Chairs. Last year we had Beaches Go Green jellyfish park, which featured three giant jellyfish that were 16 feet tall and ten feet in diameter. They were covered in single use plastic. They were incredible and we added up all the plastic in our area and it added up to about 185 pounds, which is what on average a single American uses in a year,” said Moquin.