A young man in Pensacola is steps closer to reaching his Eagle Scout status in the Boy Scouts, all thanks to a project he hopes will improve the overall well-being of gulf wildlife, and keep vacationers coming back to our beautiful sandy beaches.
“Paper bags, and a lot of food waste,” Connor Stewart said when asked what kind of garbage he’s seen on the beach. “And, cigarette butts.”
When the Boy Scout talks about the garbage he’s seen, it’s easy to see why he decided to do something about it.
“I got seven people to come over, and we built the boxes,” Stewart said of his project, where he created yellow bins filled with paper bags for beachgoers to use for trash. “Then we painted them and we installed them.”
Connor wants to become an Eagle Scout. Leadership in this project will help him get closer to that goal, but overall cleanliness is the main motivation.
“When you go out there, you want to see a perfect white beach and have the wildlife happy and not all messed up,” Connor said. “When you see a ton of dirty stuff, it’s not as enjoyable and it kind of ruins everything.”
Having these boxes on the beach also eliminates the ability to make an excuse. If you’ve got access to them, and you’re not using them, it’s on you.
“Oh, I think it will help!” said Bob Murray, a Pensacola resident. “If somebody did forget to bring something they may leave it behind, but that may help them to be like, all you gotta do is put it in there. I’m sure it will help people, people who didn’t remember to bring a trash bag with them.”
Visitors notice the cleanliness. It’s one of the reasons why they choose Pensacola Beach.
“Half of the vacation is going to the beach, so if were going to get in the water and play in the sand id like it to be trash free,” said the Anderson Family, on vacation from California.
The boxes have been fairly popular so far. The bags have been replaced several times already.