South Carolina is no stranger to plastic pollution.
In 2018, South Carolina was named number five on the list of most visibly polluted states by the American State Litter Scorecard. South Carolina has no state-funded litter pickup program or state cleanup crews and relies heavily on volunteers.
Palmetto Pride, South Carolina’s primary anti-litter and beautification organization, has removed 71 million pounds of litter from roads and natural areas throughout the state in a 20-year time span.
Representatives at SCDHEC have removed over 10,000 pounds of trash from the lower Catawba River since summer 2020.
In the cities of Columbia and Charleston, many local conservation organizations routinely conduct their own litter sweeps in an attempt to reduce macroplastic pollution.
One of these organizations, the Congaree Riverkeeper in Columbia, has removed over 10,000 plastic debris items from local waterways since January of this year.
Similarly, the Charleston Waterkeeper has removed 6,200 plastic pieces since January 2020.