Local News

Litterbugs and excess packaging pollute rivers

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) is hosting its 24th annual Source to Sea Cleanup throughout the month of September. This year, CRC is asking cleanup participants and all who enjoy our rivers to join them in demanding an end to trashed rivers.

“After cleaning up 1,167 tons of trash over the past 23 years it’s clear that repeated cleaning is not the solution to our trash problem,” said CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “Consumers need to avoid single use items. And it’s time for the businesses who created and have been profiting from this trash to now help solve the problem through fundamental redesign of how our products are made and disposed of.”

CRC insists on the need to redesign the economy so there isn’t waste in the first place and that businesses volunteer do the right thing by offering more sustainable, reusable, recyclable, and compostable options.

“As individuals, we should always properly dispose of and recycle our waste,” continued Fisk.

“We invite everyone to join us in telling businesses we expect better,” said Stacey Lennard, CRC cleanup coordinator. “You can help show the problem to help solve the problem. Take a photo, video, or make art inspired by river beauty or river pollution. Get creative, use #RiverWitness, and tag CRC on social media.” CRC will add your images to an online mosaic photo display and video. Select images will be used to call on decision-makers to enact trash solutions to keep trash out of our rivers. “Show them this is important to you. Speak up for your rivers,” said Lennard.

CRC asserts that consumers, have been trained by businesses to rely on unnecessary disposable and single-use plastics. Meanwhile, businesses and manufacturers are profiting by making these products out of cheap, petroleum-based plastic that is harmful and doesn’t easily break down. Producers and manufacturers then pass the responsibility and disposal costs for the products they make to the consumers, which lead to litter and polluted rivers.

The Source to Sea Cleanup is a river cleanup coordinated by CRC in all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River watershed. Each fall, thousands of volunteers remove tons of trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails and more. You can join the effort by signing up for the Source to Sea Cleanup. And you can go online using #RiverWitness to help show the dirty truth of trash in our rivers and the need for trash solutions.

For more information or to register for the event, visit ctriver.org/cleanup.

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