TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Environmental activists made an appearance in Tallahassee last week and left a bold statement for lawmakers.
About 3,000 pounds of plastic waste was left on the steps of the historic State Capitol Building for a full day. The plastic had been collected along Florida’s coastlines.
This display was the result of hard work from two environmental activists who founded the group Plastic Symptoms. Bryan Galvin and Heather Bolint spent more than four months walking the entire coast of Florida. The pair collected plastics they found along their 1,200-mile trek.
“Knowing that we have a lot of tourists from all over the world that want to partake in our amazing beaches and our waterways, we need to protect it,” Galvin said.
Plastic Symptoms hopes to show lawmakers the scope of the litter problem plaguing Florida’s beaches. But the pair of activists say the trash pile doesn’t show the impact to wildlife that they witnessed during their trek.
“A skull of a bird was wrapped up in monofilament fishing line,” Bolint recalled. “So, unfortunately, the bird perished.”
Plastic Symptoms also says all the plastic brought to Tallahassee only represents about a tenth of the plastic they actually encountered on their journey.
The group wants lawmakers to consider banning or regulating single-use plastic items.
“We’re not going to take all the plastic out of the ocean and off the beaches by simply passing these laws, but this will show tourists that come to our state that we are doing all that we can and that this is not a problem that we want to be remembered by,” Galvin said.
The trash was gone by Tuesday, but Plastic Symptoms says it intends to bring the display back when lawmakers return to the city for their 2020 session.