Girl Planting seeds

New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Celebration Creates a Plastic Problem

When you think Mardi Gras, what immediately comes to mind? For many, “beads” would probably be the answer. If you’ve ever been to a Mardi Gras celebration, or have seen photos from one, you surely noticed all of the plastic bead necklaces floating about, available in an assortment of rainbow colors. But have you ever thought about what happens to all of those beads when the party ends? New Orleans is known for its Mardi Gras celebration. In 2018, sanitation workers pulled more than 93,000 pounds of Mardi Gras beads from clogged storm drains in the city, along a five-block stretch. The tradition of throwing beads onto parade floats began in 1871, but today, it’s a glaring problem. The Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans produces about 1.2 million pounds of garbage in less than two weeks. From plastic beads to plastic cups, hats and more, an alarming amount of party gear ends up in storm drains or in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain.  Read more.....

 

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