We don’t want to rain on the parade of plastic beads that comes flying off floats and lands on the necks of drunken Mardi Gras revelers every February. Thankfully the LA Times does that for us. In their article, the Times notes that while the Mardi Gras tradition is a great celebration for the city of New Orleans, it also leaves behind quite a mess once it’s all said and done.
An estimated 25 million pounds of beads make their way (from China) to New Orleans every year. A small, and some might argue, futile, movement is making strides to try and deflect some of the environmental impact the beads have on the city.
While recycling centers aren’t able to process the plastic beads, other clever initiatives are making efforts to help keep the beads out of landfills. One is the Arc of Greater New Orleans, a nonprofit that employs its mentally challenged clients in a bead-recycling program. For this year’s festivities, the group will bring up the rear at some parades, encouraging revelers to throw back the trinkets they just caught with a slogan well-known to south Louisiana fishermen: “Catch and release.”
Another group, Verdi Gras, is setting up bead collection bins along a parade route.
While some applaud the effort, others worry that trying to do good at an event that celebrates debauchery might just be in vain.
Check out the LA Times article to read more.