Lets Stop Littering!

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Lets Stop Littering!

Oscar Dudus, Staff Writer

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I was walking home after school the other day and something was staring up from under me: it was a discarded box of JUUL pods. Needless to say, the cardboard was an interesting choice in landscaping; most people would go with pebbles or bark.

It’s a harsh fact that littering is getting way out of hand in New Jersey. Our state of is full of garbage. Our streets are covered in litter from the best neighborhoods with multi million dollar homes to trailer parks. This problem affects us all. According to the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency,  “Based on a number of studies, including those conducted by EPA, plastics have the potential to adsorb chemicals of concern from the environment, and serve as a potential global transport mechanism for contaminants of concern into the food chain and potentially to humans who eat seafoods.” These are just the chemical impacts, the biological impacts are even worse. The EPA estimates that plastic negatively affects at least marine 267 species globally, including, but not limited to, 86% of sea turtles, 44% of seabirds, and 43% of marine mammals. Most animals are impacted when they get stuck in plastic or if they ingest it. In addition to biological impacts, Littering impacts humans as well. Floating debris can directly interfere with navigation in the ocean, impede commercial and recreational fishing, threaten health and safety, and reduce tourism to once crowded areas. Large debris, such as derelict fishing nets and lines that float at or just below the surface, pose the greatest threat to ship navigation.

According to njclean.org, there has been, a 53 percent reduction in litter was achieved between 2004 and 2017. In addition, 87 of the 94 sites showed reductions in litter; however, the work is not done yet and won’t be until our environment will be clean. I urge you to volunteer and help me Clean Up NJ. We will meet up at a set location to help clean up the area and dispose of the garbage in the appropriate way. The generations before us have ruined our environment, we cannot stand idly by when trash fills our streets. Litter discarded in streets and parks can travel through the storm water system to our rivers and creeks, where it can cause harm to wildlife. We can be a part of something greater, and we can change the future if we come together and pick up the trash!

Contact me at: [email protected] if you are interested in helping clean up litter over the summer!

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