That’s a Wrap! 30 Day Challenge Results

This April, Marylanders across the state engaged in the #30daysofpickinguplitter challenge, started by a Baltimore City resident – Eli Pousson – who wanted to focus on daily action to help clean his community. Thechallenge encouraged Marylanders to pick up litter everyday, take a photo of the litter they collected, and post it on social media using the hashtag #30daysofpickinguplitter. While we know that folks weren’t going to pick up all the litter in all of Maryland, we hoped this challenge would bring awareness to the different types of litter people saw and how prevalent those products are in our everyday lives. Sharing photos and uniting under a single hashtag offered visual support and solidarity, and fostered pretty interesting conversations! Most importantly, it helped to inspire more people to pick up a little each day, on the way toward sustainable litter mitigation and prevention.

29683299_10216636273405570_1313515545542971404_n.jpgAfter soliciting feedback at the end of the month and analyzing some of the social media metrics, below are some of our key findings:

  • 74 people signed up through our online pledge form 
  • 10 people consistently participated on Twitter with 164 posts
  • 17 people consistently participated on Instagram with 116 posts
  • 39 people consistently  participated on Facebook
  • 23 people provided feedback in our May survey
  • All survey respondents said they will continue to pick up litter
  • 10 out of those 23  said it changed their perspective on litter and how to tackle the issue
  • The top three types of litter seen the most by participants throughout the challenge were:
    • Plastic bottles (78.3% of respondents chose plastic bottles)
    • Snack packaging (65.2% of respondents chose snack packaging)
    • Plastic bags (52.2% of respondents chose plastic bags)
  • Other leading types of litter found were straws, cigarette butts, and EPS foam food containers
  • The top three places respondents picked up litter were:
    • Around their neighborhood
    • Around their home
    • While doing something recreational
  • Counties and cities represented by respondents:
    • Allegany County
    • Anne Arundel County
    • Baltimore City – Brewers Hill
    • Baltimore City – Canton
    • Baltimore City – Federal Hill
    • Baltimore City – Hampden
    • Baltimore City – Highland Town
    • Baltimore City – Moravia-Walther
    • Baltimore City – Patterson Park Neighborhood
    • Baltimore City – Radnor Winston
    • Baltimore City – Rosebank-Brackenridge-Bellona
    • Baltimore County
    • Baltimore County – Dundalk
    • Baltimore County – Essex
    • Talbot County – Easton
    • Harford County
    • Montgomery County
    • Prince George’s County
    • Queen Anne’s County

Respondents also provided general comments on their overall experience. Some key themes and takeaways include:

  • There is desire and need for long term education programs that sustain changes in administrations and local governments
  • It was suggested to implement this campaign in other months throughout the year
  • The use of photos was encouraging for folks to continue picking up litter each day
  • Cigarette butts is a waste stream people are interested in tackling
  • Respondents would like to see more partnerships between community members, schools, and local governments to create and sustain year long litter pickup programs

We appreciate everyone who participated in this challenge and provided such important feedback across social media platforms and through our online form. Results from this challenge help inform what kind of campaigns and legislation to pursue in the future, as well as the collaborative conversation we have with nonprofit, government and community partners. Challenges like this reinforce  why preventative policy initiatives and behavior change campaigns are at the heart of our mission to create a Trash Free Maryland!

Press from the campaign:

If you’re looking for a new challenge, check out our “Don’t Let the Summer Suck” campaign! Pledge online here and learn about why straw pollution is a significant issue in the streets and in our waterways!


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