Save The Bay Launches “Litter Free Pledge” Campaign

     PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Friday, June 8 – Today, Save The Bay launches the Litter Free Pledge, a new campaign aimed at reducing litter across the Narragansett Bay watershed, a 1,754-square-mile region stretching from Worcester and Brockton in Massachusetts to Newport and Narragansett in Rhode Island. The Litter Free Pledge invites Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents alike to visit litterfreepledge.com to take the Litter Free Pledge and refrain from contributing even the smallest piece of litter to the local landscape. The Litter Free Pledge campaign’s promotional efforts, coordinated with partner WPRI-TV, also include a #LitterFreePledge social media initiative and a public service announcement.

Individuals taking the #LitterFreePledge are encouraged to post the pledge, their own “I took the pledge!” videos, or one of the campaign’s many “Take Action” tips, on social media; share the information with their families, friends and coworkers; and promote the idea that every piece of litter, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, adds up. After all, in 2017, on one day of cleanups alone, volunteers collected 42,124 pieces of plastic and foam from Rhode Island beaches—not to mention the 36,575 cigarette butts and 22,435 food wrappers.

“One of the difficulties with the issue of litter is that there are so many disposable products out there,” said Save The Bay’s Volunteer and Intern Manager July Lewis. “Many people who don’t think of themselves as litterers still occasionally let a bottle cap drop or don’t bother to chase down a cup that blows out of their hand on a windy day.

“But if every person in the Narragansett Bay watershed dropped just one straw a year, that would be almost two million straws, many of which would end up in the ocean! That’s why the Litter Free Pledge is important,” she said.

Litter has a negative impact on its surroundings the moment it lands. It is a threat both to wildlife and to the health of our waterways, and it negatively impacts tourism and recreation.

“No one wants to see litter in their neighborhoods, in their parks, or on their beaches,” said Lewis. “Save The Bay volunteers have spent countless hours at hundreds of beach cleanups, only to see litter return. The ocean is where a lot of trash ends up, but litter is a problem everywhere.”

The Litter Free Pledge was born from the desire to protect all communities from the persistent presence of litter, which is why campaign organizers are inviting businesses, schools, scouts and community organizations across Rhode Island and Massachusetts to take and make it their own. Partner toolkits including editable logos, social media suggestions and printables are available for download at litterfreepledge.com/partnerships.

Organizations interested in participating in the Litter Free Pledge campaign, or supporting the campaign as a sponsor, should contact July Lewis at jlewis@savebay.org.

Individuals interested in getting further involved with the Litter Free Pledge can learn about volunteer opportunities at litterfreepledge.com/join-a-cleanup.

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