Local Organizations Ban Together for Plastic Brigade at South Lido Park

Todays News


Saturday morning, 38 locals banned together at South Lido Park for the Plastic Brigade, a statewide cleanup effort organized in collaboration by the American Advertising Federation (AFF) Fourth District, Sugar Volunteers and Sarasota Parks & Recreation. Volunteers in attendance comprised of members of Sugar Volunteers, a family-based goodwill group; AdFed Suncoast, the local nonprofit trade organization of AAF; and eight teens from the Lakewood Ranch Key Club. "Everybody should participate in helping keep our beautiful beaches clean and safe for sea life,” says AdFed Suncoast president Shane Hughes, creative director at Michael Saunders and Company. “We are proud to be a part of a statewide cleanup and know that we are making a difference." 

Additionally, Armando Ubeda, a representative of Florida Sea Grant, the coastal and marine extension program within the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences kicked off the cleanup with an educational marine debris presentation. After just two hours of searching two plus miles of South Lido’s beaches and trails, 130 lbs. of debris was collected from the park. Even hidden areas were covered with certain volunteers even jumping fences and venturing into deep vegetation to recover litter they spotted.

Among the most common items found and collected were plastic bottles, cans and caps. Other items included a plastic mayonnaise jar, a frisbee, large plastic bags, lotion bottles, fishing lures, and an entire duffle bag of belongings hidden next to a tidal basin. Meanwhile, plastic continues to be found in 62% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtle species. 

“Some scientific estimates predict there could be as much plastic in the ocean as fish by 2050,” says Hughes. “Our demand for convenience is hurting wildlife. After seeing the 130 lbs. of debris collected by volunteers in just two hours, I will be more conscious of buying products with unnecessary plastic packaging. You really have to participate in a cleanup like this to appreciate the scope of the problem.”

Photo courtesy of AdFed Suncoast

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