Nonprofit beach clean-up group says they won’t pick-up after floatillas

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Officials are gearing up for 4th of July celebrations and anticipating crowds of people at parks and beaches. So they want to stress to the public to keep our island clean and pick up after yourselves.

In the past, we’ve seen floatillas and other 4th of July events leave loads of litter behind in the water and on land. Last year, we saw some changes made and you can expect the same again this year.

The city tells us there had been years when the trash from floatillas was troubling, but since the crackdown on those types of gatherings, it has gotten better.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii has always cleaned up after people, collecting bags full of junk. However, since last year they’ve decided enough is enough.

“The reason that we stopped is that we didn’t want to incentivize people that we were going to be out there cleaning up for them. We want to make sure that the people are being proactive,” said Executive Director Rafael Bergstrom.

Officials are urging people to take responsibility because the waste that’s left behind is detrimental.

“Particularly with plastic, a lot of animals ingest plastic and because of the chemicals it’s indigestible,” said Bergstrom. “Also there’s a lot of studies that have come out talking about the problems with plastics on coral reefs that they can scar the reef and infect the reefs too.”

The city says park staff will be keeping the trash bins from overflowing but people should not be placing large bulky items in or near the trash cans. And remember…

“Have fun. Have that conscience that what you do has an impact and if you go in with that then there aren’t going to be problems. You are not going to leave trash behind. You are not going to leave plastics in the ocean,” he said.

We looked up penalties for criminal littering, that’s when a person knowingly drops, throws, or places litter where it doesn’t belong. Offenders could face four hours of community service and pay a fine of at least $500.

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