Mississippi Aquarium recycling unwanted Mardi Gras beads

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi Aquarium is partnering with the Arc of Greater New Orleans to recycle your Mardi Gras beads. Last year, Mississippi Aquarium collected more than 10,000 pounds of beads.

Bring your unwanted throws to Mississippi Aquarium from now until March 22. Aquarium staff will take them to the Arc of Greater New Orleans, where they will be repurposed and resold.

“Mardi Gras beads are plastic, and plastic is not benign; it is loaded with chemicals like bromine and chlorine as well as heavy metals like lead,” said Elizabeth Englebretson of Plastic Free Gulf Coast. “When Mardi Gras beads end up as litter in our environment, these chemicals leach into the soil and the water. The Gulf of Mexico has some of the highest microplastic concentrations globally. We must do everything we can to stop plastic from entering our waterways.”

The toxicity of beads is not the only threat to the wildlife and marine animals of the Mississippi Sound and the rivers and estuaries of Coastal Mississippi. Birds, turtles, and other marine life can become entangled in the Mardi Gras beads and suffer injury and death.

Community partners this year are Mississippi Power, Beau Rivage, D’Iberville High School’s Eco Warriors Club, MGCCC, The 334th TRS at Keesler Air Force Base, Plastic Free Gulf Coast, and MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center.

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WLOX Staff

WLOX Staff

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