Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful PSA Award
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.
Please review all criteria prior to developing your PSA
Open to Florida High School and College Students
Video must be 30 or 60 seconds (TRT) or less
Funds will be awarded to the submitting school
Submitted projects will be judged on the following set of criteria:
Main message of the PSA should capture the following:
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.
Points/Facts to consider when developing the PSA:
Why waterway and ocean trash is 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 2021 International Coastal Cleanup, by the numbers:
- During the past 35 years over 16.5 million people picked up more than 344 million pounds of trash along 514,218 miles
- The top three items collected were 1.) Cigarette Butts, 2.) Beverage Bottles (plastic)
3.) Food Wrappers (candy, chips)
- Volunteers found:
- Total trash collected would be equal to the weight of 1,148 blue whales.
- The straws and stirrers collected over the past 35 years would stretch the entire length of the Himalayas.
- 35 years’ worth of plastic bottles arranged end to end would stretch from Lisbon Portugal to Moscow, Russia.
- Enough grocery bags collected to cover 1,196 Olympic sized swimming pools when laid flat
- The Covid Pandemic:
- Created a surge in use of PPE with three million Face Masks used per minute
- Volunteers collected 107,219 individual pieces of PPE
- Volunteers reported that 75% of the PPE they encountered was single/use disposable
- Ocean Plastic- Microplastic:
- The United States is a Top contributor to coastal plastic pollution
- The percentage of the ocean surface currently “at risk” due to microplastic pollution could triple by 2050
- Scientific evidence shows us that microplastics are present on Mount Everest
- Volunteers found:
Step 1 - Complete the online application and accept/agree to all terms/conditions including your signature and your student ID.
(Instructors performing multiple submissions may email a list of student names to email@example.com in lieu of student ID's. Please list project titles along with student names.)
Step 2 - Upload your project through FilmFreeway.