Aitor Olea (left) and Ander Bilbao (right) pose with their 3rd cleanup of beaches, Sopelena, Spain. | Photo Courtesy of Jon Ortega

#Trashtag is still happening

The viral clean up challenge is going strong across the world
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The viral clean up challenge is going strong across the world

The viral challenge to pick up nasty littered areas hasn’t been tossed out. #Trashtag is still going!

In case you haven’t heard about the challenge, #trashtag challenge has a few simple steps. First, locate an area of your community covered in trash. Second, equip a team of people with gloves and trashbags. Third, bag it.

Be sure to take a before and after photo to show what a difference you made for your community and upload it on social media like Twitter or Reddit with the hashtag #trashtag.

The trashtag hashtag has been on the internet for some time now, the trend got popular in March 2019 after a guy named Byron Román made a post on Facebook about it. His post is a photo of a man in a littered area before and after he cleaned it up. Román challenged teens to do the same.

“Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens,” Román wrote. “Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then take a photo after you have done something about it, and post it.”

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Photo Courtesy of Jadarlin

Román made it viral. After more than 100,000 likes and shares on Facebook, #trashtag had it in the bag. The movement spread online like the pacific garbage patch has spread in the ocean.

All across the world from Bali to Brooklyn trashtaggers are cleaning up their backyards. Reddit user misoxx even submitted their #trashtag contributions from Nepal!

Littering has serious impacts on humans and the environment we live in. According to a study published by the Royal Society, fish may actively seek out and eat plastic waste because it smells and looks like food.

This kills fish. As humans, in turn, eat plastic filled fish the plastic accumulates in our bodies. This is “litter-ally” as dangerous as eating tide pods.

As far as viral internet memes go, #trashtag is probably the most wholesome one yet. It’s relevant, it’s productive and it encourages an awesome behavior, picking up trash.

The Story of Stuff, founded by Annie Leonard, an investigator who took the lid off of manufacturing in the world, teaches its viewers about where all this waste comes from.

Leonard explains how consumerism is all about that “buy buy buy” attitude. The problem with this attitude is the fact that we end up with way too much stuff. As soon as we realize that fact, anything we don’t need or want gets tossed. That’s one reason there is so much trash that ends up on our beaches, in our rivers and on our streets.

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Photo Courtesy of misoxx

Litter is a serious issue in our modern age. Our society depends on cheap production and disposable items to make life convenient. Unfortunately, these behaviors “externalize” the real impacts of plastics, including litter.

Trash becomes a problem, real quick. Although our waste quickly piles up in landfills, at least it’s a heck of a lot better than it piling up on our beaches. #trashtag is a great reason to make sure nasty trash ends up where it belongs.

So let’s pick up a trash bag, put on a pair of gloves and start bagging that trash. Our communities will appreciate and out planet will appreciate it. Remember to take a picture and #trashtag.

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