MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG)- Mardi Gras parades and throws are an important and integral part of Mobile’s history.

One thing you may not think about is the environmental impact the beads, cups, and other throws have on our community and waterways. 

After a typical Mardi Gras season creeks, rivers, and drains would be full of Mardi Gras throws such as beads and cups like this. But Mardi Gras was a little different this year and Casi Calloway with Mobile Baykeeper explains, “Without parades, without the moonpie wrappers, without the balls and floats and everything else, we are not seeing that same level of newly created, newly generated trash in our rivers.”

But as most are anxiously awaiting a more “typical” Mardi Gras season, Mobile Baykeeper and other organizations are proactively working to cut down on this Mardi Gras litter. Calloway adds, “The city is going to do its part of us, but we also have to engage and do our part to not let the litter be left on the ground.”

Mardi Gras beads are really exciting to catch but are made from harmful plastic materials. Mobile Baykeeper is looking into more environmentally friendly beads. Calloway says, “We have to figure out how to look at all of the costs….The cost of those biodegradable beads certainly is higher. But the cost of pollution to our waterways….to our rivers, to our streams, to our public health….That is a huge cost too and we are ignoring that.”

Mobile Baykeeper is also working to install marine debris interceptors that would catch this litter before it gets into our waterways, but Calloway emphasizes that just picking up trash and throwing it away will have the biggest impact. 

For more ways to be environmentally conscious: – restaurant    – non restaurant