Think that candy wrapper won’t make a difference? Think again. Plastic wrappers, bottles, cigarette butts, paper containers, and other trash can make their way into storm drains and directly into our waterways untreated.
This past fall, 40 volunteers collected over 900 pounds of trash along the beach during a cleanup effort at the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve. Trash is not just an eyesore along streets, parks and waterways in our community, it can negatively impact wildlife and poses hazards for fisherman and boaters.
Did You Know?
- According to the Ocean Conservancy, items that top the list at beach cleanups both locally and worldwide are pieces of plastic, cigar tips, and cigarette filters.
- Cigarette filters/butts are NOT biodegradable. The acetate filters take years to decompose, and the toxic chemicals trapped in the filters can leach into aquatic ecosystems.
- Plastics break down into tiny pieces called microplastics in water, then release toxic chemicals which are consumed by fish, birds, snakes, and other wildlife.
- It can take 600 years for plastic monofilament fishing line to decompose.
What You Can Do
- Do Not Litter! Lake Erie is our source of drinking water. We need to do our part to prevent pollution as well as educate others.
- Follow the 3R’s (REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE) wherever possible.
- Use reusable shopping bags instead of the plastic bags handed out at the store.
- Don’t overfill trash cans on windy days and always provide tight fitting lids during outdoor storage.
- If you see illegal dumping, notify local authorities immediately.
For more information, contact the City of Mentor Building and Engineering Department at (440) 255-1100.