Keep PCB Beautiful working to keep beaches clean

Panama City Beaches are piling up with trash, and one local organization is working to stop it.
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Trash is becoming more and more noticeable throughout Panama City Beach.

Since the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Panama City Beach has seen a tourism boom. In that same time span, there has also been a clear increase in the amount of trash left around area beaches.

A local organization called “Keep PCB Beautiful” says this has been one of the worst years when it comes to littering.

“We’ve had more tents and more grocery bags full of trash along the sides of the trash cans especially at some of the more busy access points,” Ashley Hayward, President of Keep PCB Beautiful, said.

A lot of the trash doesn’t even make it near the trash cans.

“We see a lot of things that are just right on the wayside of the walkway when there are trash cans right here that are full behind us. Not all of them are full, obviously, but its just...okay it’s here, it falls, I’ll leave it, it’s somebody else’s problem... And that’s not the right mindset to have,” Hayward said.

The litter is unsightly and hurts tourism and property values. But the side effects don’t stop there. Trash left along the shore can be a great hazard to wildlife and the unique ecosystem that is present along the emerald coast.

Hayward stressed that trash left on the beach can become a significant problem when storms come to the Panhandle.

Trash can end up in people’s yards, out in the ocean, and can even affect the delicate life cycle of our local sea turtles.

In an effort to clean up some of the trash left on area beaches, Keep PCB Clean hosts a handful of beach cleanup events each year. This Sunday, the organization will be hosting the 6th Annual Robbie Atchinson Beach Cleanup from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

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