Environmental PSA Environmental PSA Criteria for the Student Showcase of Films

The Environmental PSA category is sponsored by:
Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful Inc.
Please review the following information prior to developing your PSA.  

Open to Florida high school and college students.
Video must be 30 or 60 seconds (TRT) or less.  

$1,000 Award.
Funds will be awarded to the submitting school.

Submitted projects will be judged on the following set of criteria:

Message - Enviromental Awareness or Protection
Production Value

DESCRIPTION:  We face many complex challenges when it comes to clean and healthy waterways that lead to the ocean, but one problem is simple to understand: Trash. Waterway and ocean trash compromises the health of humans, wildlife and the people and communities that depend on healthy waterways and ocean. We must stop the flow of trash at the source, before it has a chance to reach the water to choke and entangle dolphins or endanger sea turtles, or ruin our beaches, affect water quality and depress local economies. This PSA should address the need to keep millions of pounds of trash from our waterways and ocean and should suggest that people’s everyday choices can help keep  our waterways clean.

A few Points/Facts to Consider when developing the PSA:

Why is waterway and ocean trash a problem we need to address?

It’s a threat to our economies: Coastal municipalities spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on daily beach and waterway cleanups and to prevent trash from reaching the water, while recreational boaters and the commercial shipping and fishing industries face significantly higher costs from debris in the ocean.

It’s a threat to wildlife and habitat: Waterway and ocean trash can entrap and strangle ocean wildlife, many of which are listed as threatened or endangered. Scientists have found evidence of plastics ingestion across all marine taxa. When animals eat waterway and ocean plastics, they can also take in high concentrations of toxins that adsorbed to the plastics surface.  Waterway and ocean trash is also a threat to ecologically critical yet sensitive marine habitat.

It’s a threat to our health and food safety: Toxic chemicals are transferred up the food chain as large ocean predators—many of which we eat—accumulate toxins eaten or concentrated by smaller fish and plants. The concentration of toxins in these predators, such as tuna and mahi-mahi, increase considerably as they move up the food chain.  

Trash jeopardizes the health of the ocean, coastline, economy and people. It’s in our ocean and waterways and on our beaches—and is here to stay unless we change our practices. Trash is one of the biggest threats to the health of our ocean and waterways.  We have watched trash threaten ocean wildlife and ecosystems and undermine tourism and economic activity. 

Future generations will be the ones dealing with our trash. This must and will look different in the future. By working together to find solutions, we will take significant steps forward in understanding and preventing ocean trash. 

Estimated time for these products to breakdown, 
although it is uncertain if plastics ever truly “degrade”

Fishing Line: 600 years
Plastic Bottles: 450 years  
Aluminum Cans: 200 years
Plastic Bags: 1-20 years

The ocean isn’t the only location impacted.  Trash affects all waterways, coastal or inland, and threatens the well-being of communities that depend on them.

What you use, eat and drink in your everyday life could end up in the ocean.  Every year the Top 10 list of items picked up by volunteers doing the International Coastal Cleanup includes items such as cigarettes, utensils and beverage containers—trash that comes from our everyday lives and households. These items are not only unnatural to the ocean and waterways, but are dangerous to the wildlife that relies on the ecosystem. The ocean truly is always downstream.

We need to tackle trash at every point in the lifecycle to create healthier beaches, waterways, and oceans to benefit the environment and people.  Enhanced individual responsibility, new industry leadership, innovative science and smart public policy represent the needed components of a comprehensive solution to the ongoing challenge of ocean trash.

New scientific findings show there’s reason to be more, not less concerned about plastics in the ocean.

Whether it is by changing your habits to create less trash, or pushing industries and governments to find alternative uses, we can work together to find a solution.

We have a responsibility all year long to reduce, remove and reinvent  From material design to product development and disposal, we all have a role to play. 

We can’t do it alone  While solutions are built on individual actions of people, organizations and companies, it will take a collective movement to make the biggest difference.

A Pledge to Fight Trash  What would happen if 10,000 people decided not to make as much trash for one month? We could reduce the trash on Earth by over a million pounds.

Reduce your purchases of single-use disposable goods. Going reusable ensures throwaway plastics never have the chance to make it to beaches, waterways, or the ocean.

This problem is human-generated and preventable. Keeping our waterways and ocean free from trash is one of the easiest ways we can make the ocean more resilient. We must begin to look at the problem of ocean trash globally, and to communities where adequate waste disposal does not yet match the increased generation of waste—particularly plastics. From product design to proper trash disposal, we all have a role to play in keeping our beaches, waterways, and the ocean clean and free of debris. 

The 2013 International Coastal Cleanup, by the numbers:


• Nearly 650,000 people picked up more than 12 million pounds of trash along nearly 13,000 miles of coastlines

• 2nd all-time highest in total pounds collected since 1986

• 3rd all-time highest number of people participated since 1986

Volunteers found:

• Total trash equal to the weight of 823 male African Elephants, 50 blue whales or 27 statues of liberty. 

• Enough plastic beverage bottles that, when stacked end to end, are equal to: 493 Empire State Buildings, 1,020 Space Needles and 580 Eiffel Towers

• Enough fishing line to go up and over Mount Everest 5 times 

• Enough disposable cigarette lighters to start  180,660,000 campfires

• Enough plastic bottle caps to blanket 3 entire football fields

• Enough trash to fill the U.S. Capitol Rotunda 2.5 times

In the past 28 years of Cleanups: 

• More than 10 million volunteers picked up more than 175 million pounds of trash from about 340,000 miles of shoreline

Volunteers found:

• 59 million cigarette butts, which, if stacked end to end would stretch from Washington, D.C. all the way to Miami 

• Over 10 million plastic bags, the amount of oil needed to produce these bags could fuel a car to drive around the Earth 18 times.

APPLICATION PROCESS: To begin the process of submitting your Environmental PSA project, complete the Student Showcase of Films Online Application (CLOSED). Our system will guide you through the necessary steps to completion.

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