Fireworks Should Leave Memories, Not Trash

Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:58

Setting off and enjoying fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July is a beloved pastime. During this holiday, the skies light up in brilliant colors and designs, leaving us mesmerized and in awe. Whether lighting up sparklers at home or watching a large colorful aerial production, all fireworks leave behind more than memories, they also result in trash.

It is not uncommon to find streets and beaches littered with the remnants of fireworks after the holiday. Pieces of plastic, paper, and cardboard that are not properly disposed of, can easily make their way to the beaches and the ocean to become marine debris. Marine debris is an eyesore along shorelines around the world. It degrades the beauty of beaches and deters tourists and residents from enjoying the beach over the holiday. Leftover trash from fireworks can pose major risks to marine animals when it enters the ocean. Both sea birds and marine animals can mistake debris for food. If ingested, it could result in a loss of nutrition, internal injury, intestinal blockage, starvation, and even death.

Don’t leave debris like these plastic plugs behind after your celebration. These plastic plugs come from different types of fireworks, mostly rockets. (Photo Credit: Ellen Anderson)
Don’t leave debris like these plastic plugs behind after your celebration. These plastic plugs come from different types of fireworks, mostly rockets. (Photo Credit: Ellen Anderson)

There are a number of activities we can all partake in to keep our beaches free of firework debris. Here are just a few:

  • If you launch it, pick it up. Cleaning up after ourselves and ensuring we properly dispose of our own fireworks trash is the very first step in addressing this issue.
  • Join in on a post-Fourth of July beach cleanup. The monthly NOAA Marine Debris Program newsletter contains cleanup opportunities from across the county. Sign up here to receive the newsletters and find a beach cleanup in your region.
  • Spread the word. As the holiday approaches, talk to your friends and neighbors about the potential for firework debris to turn into marine debris.
  • Celebrate safely. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to learn how to properly and safely handle and dispose of used fireworks.

By celebrating the Fourth of July and enjoying fireworks responsibly, we can honor our country through protecting our beloved coastal environments, and the marine animals who rely on these habitats.

Fireworks Should Leave Memories, Not Trash

Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:58

Elizabeth Bett…

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:40

I saw my first fireworks probably 7 decades ago and have enjoyed them over the years.
But I'm wondering what better way of celebrating the Revolution we can find and use. Picking up the fireworks trash day after day as the tide and surf wash it in turns that wonder into urgent worry. The "bombs bursting in air" did help bring about a new nation, but why celebrate that by killing animals and plants?

Add new comment

We appreciate your interest and welcome your feedback to our posts. Please provide comments that are relevant to the topic and refrain from advertising. Comments will be reviewed before publishing.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
If you want notification when others comment on this topic, please provide your email above. We will not use the email for anything other than notifying you of blog activity, and it will not be displayed with your comment. Learn more in our privacy policy and the Privacy Act Statement.
CAPTCHA
Please help us prevent automated spam submissions:
12 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.