To keep trash out of our waterways, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is trying to better understand ... the trash.
What's happening: With a federal grant, TBEP is deploying devices called Litter Gitters into local waterways so they can collect trash floating downstream, 83 Degrees reports.
- Then they'll use something called the Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol to record the trash's data — things like the type of trash, the brand, the condition, time in the water.
The big idea is to create a comprehensive profile of the litter in particular regions — and since around 75% of land litter winds up in the water, the localized data will be hard evidence of the main trash producers in the area.
- For example, are there loads of styrofoam cups from a particular fast food restaurant? Or cigar packaging from a particular brand?
- When the data is collected, the plan is to appeal to the businesses making the trash to curb their trash production.
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