Published January 6, 2023
Less Waste, More Waves
Ecomedes’ Greenbuild Beach Clean-up Event collects over 115 items from San Francisco’s Baker Beach
Featuring: 5 Gyres
The Golden Gate City played host to the 20th annual Greenbuild International Conference + Expo Nov. 1 — 3 and the Ecomedes, Inc. team was thrilled to welcome colleagues from across the industry to our headquarters’ backyard.
We kicked of the week-long festivities by hosting a Greenbuild happy hour and beach clean-up on San Francisco’s iconic Baker Beach and to help us lead the clean-up efforts, we were joined by our friends at 5 Gyres Institute.
The 5 Gyres Institute is a leader in the global movement against plastic pollution with more than 10 years of expertise in scientific research and engagement on plastic pollution issues. Since 2009, the team has completed 19 expeditions, bringing more than 300 citizen scientists, corporate executives, brands, and celebrities to the gyres, lakes, and rivers to conduct firsthand research on plastic pollution. Through this research, 5 Gyres continuously engages diverse stakeholders in understanding the science to drive impact as well as conduct community outreach and citizen science to implement data-driven solutions. With over 1,800 Ambassadors in 66 countries, 5 Gyres supports and is supported by community members with information, tools, and connections to help drive local change to fight this global crisis.
Beach clean-up attendees utilized 5 Gyres’ TrashBlitz app and paperwork to track their clean-up efforts. TrashBlitz is a data collection platform and community-focused research project created by The 5 Gyres Institute. The community-based project is designed to engage local stakeholders in measuring plastic pollution and other trash across various cities - from shorelines to riverbeds to urban neighborhoods - and utilizing data to generate relevant action plans.
“5 Gyres collected scientific data to put plastic on the radars of activists, consumers, legislators, and businesses. I'm proud to be part of their exceptional team fighting for clean oceans and less waste.”
Kathleen Egan, CEO, Ecomedes, Inc. + 5 Gyres board member
"Single-use plastic and waste were not always popular issues,” said Kathleen Egan CEO at Ecomedes’ Inc. and 5 Gyres board member. “5 Gyres collected scientific data to put plastic on the radars of activists, consumers, legislators, and businesses. I'm proud to be part of their exceptional team fighting for clean oceans and less waste.”
To date, 344,607 pieces of trash have been picked up through the TrashBlitz program. The most picked up items include beverage bottles, light sticks, and bottle caps and rings. The most pick up brands include Nestle, Marlboro and Filly Free. So, how did our beach clean-up fair?
+ Over 115 items of trash were collected
+ Items collected the most of included food wrappers, foam coolers and cigarette butts
+ For the most part, brand names were not visible on the items collected
+ Weight of items collected at the event totalled 1.627 pounds
“The community beach clean-up event was a great way to kick off greenbuild, connect with industry colleagues, and learn more about the bay’s ecology,” says Lindsey Rogers, Customer Success Manager at Ecomedes, Inc. “There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to plastics in our oceans, and its so important to learn more about the role you play in that and what you can do at home.”