Jan 29, 2024 - News

What to do with your Gasparilla beads

Two men dressed as pirates hold up multi-colored plastic parade beads.

Photo: Courtesy the City of Tampa on Twitter.

You've battled Gasparilla traffic to make it home safe (we hope), put away your pirate costume and nursed your hangover.

Yes, but: What about the zillion strings of beads you acquired during the parade?

  • There are several locations where you can take your beads to ensure they're recycled.

Why it matters: The plastic beads end up in waterways, which is bad for wildlife and water quality. They break down into microplastics, which never decompose, according to The Florida Aquarium.

Bring your leftover beads to the following locations, and they'll be donated to the MacDonald Training Center, a nonprofit that helps prepare people with disabilities for the workforce. Workers clean and repackage the beads to use for future events.

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