Mardi Gras beads and other plastic beaded necklaces are used to celebrate events all over the world. Unfortunately, they can contribute to plastic pollution if they wind up discarded and in the environment.
One of the many reasons that plastic pollution is concerning is that plastic does not biodegrade. Over time plastic items break apart into smaller pieces of plastic, but they never disappear completely. As the break down, they can reach the size of microplastic pollution (less than 5 mm) which is hard to remove from the environment. Plastic pollution is increasing at an alarming rate but we can help by using less plastic in our everyday lives.
This Mardi Gras season, consider making your own beaded necklaces using old advertisements, magazines, and newspaper. You can use the colorful pages you find in print, or you can make your beads and then paint them prior to stringing them into a necklace. Whatever your reason for trying it, this craft is easy, fun, kid-friendly, and fast.
See below for an easy DIY Video and share with your friends!
To learn more about plastic pollution, the history of mardi gras beads, and other ways you can celebrate without buying new plastic beads, check out this blog post from Savanna Barry at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, “Let the Plastic Times Roll.”
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