BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Last month, a St. Tammany-based non-profit spearheaded a litter removal effort that was supported by a total of 8,476 participants. 

Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s (KLB) ‘Love the Boot Week’ was the largest litter removal effort in the state. According to a news release from the Office of Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, in a span of about 40,007 hours, participants removed 293 tons of litter. 

One of the most commonly found items that volunteers had to dispose of were plastic bottles. This is not surprising considering statistics related to the use of plastic bottles.

According to one survey, Americans dispose of enough plastic bottles each year to circle the earth four times, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency says that if current trends continue, the amount of plastic waste released globally into the oceans will triple to nearly 32 million tons annually.

In any case, those who played a role in last month’s beautification efforts not only addressed the current litter problem, but went the extra mile by planting a wide range of much-needed foliage to various communities. 

The Lt. Governor’s news release stated that ‘Love the Boot’ workers planted 131 trees, 671 plants, and refurbished 58 gardens.

KLB’s Executive Director, Susan Russell, said, “This is just the beginning of a long road. Litter removal is just one piece of the larger puzzle, which also includes public education, the organization of supportive infrastructure, and enforcement. It’s going to take a significant culture shift and all of us working together to clean up Louisiana.”

‘Love the Boot Week’ was held from April 18-24 and will take place again from April 17-23 in 2023.

Before then, anyone interested in lending a hand to the beautification efforts has been invited to join others in a series of ‘4th Saturday’ monthly cleanup events at www.lovetheboot.org