You probably see litter around your community every day. Now imagine that across the entire country. In the United States alone, researchers estimate that there are nearly 50 billion pieces of litter in waterways and roadways. That’s more than 2,000 pieces of litter per mile — or 152 pieces of trash for every American.
Organizations like Planet Patrol are working to combat littering around the globe. In a recent Instagram Reel, the organization showed how it tackles litter cleanups — on land and on water. In the video, volunteers in kayaks paddle around waterways collecting litter to beautify their communities.
“It’s clean-up time,” the caption reads. “100s of people have taken part in Planet Patrol clean-ups over the past few weeks. From New York to London, we’ve collected and logged over 10,000 pieces of litter.”
The British nonprofit aims to reduce the amount of litter polluting our planet by changing people’s behaviors, spurring industrial change, and influencing government policy. The organization has a smartphone app that allows users to take pictures of litter in their community to help researchers identify brands, locations, and types of litter.
This data allows experts to find littering trends, create targeted solutions to littering problems, and hold polluters accountable.
One of Planet Patrol’s most notable projects is The Big Bag Ban, which aims to combat misinformation about single-use bag usage (and reduce use).
The nonprofit also sponsors a number of community cleanups where volunteers gather to help beautify their communities by picking up trash. The Planet Patrol website features a cleanup locator, and there are also numerous local Facebook groups with more information.
Commenters expressed their enthusiasm for Planet Patrol’s efforts by commenting on its cleanup video.
“Marvellous work, vital it is done thank you,” one user wrote.
“So amazing to see 🔥what an inspiration 👏,” another commented.