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First off, I'm not here to point out that we (as a state) could do a lot more when it comes to keeping it clean.  Obviously, you've seen the litter that collects on the side of the road, on the sidewalks, at parks, and pretty much everywhere people go.  I don't know about you, but that makes me sad that folks don't mind trashing our home.

The problem is so bad that the non-profit Pontchartrain Conservancy has been conducting an annual "Storm Sweep" of Lake Pontchartrain to gather data on how much and what types of litter Louisiana's residents are more likely to toss on the ground.  Before you question how trash found at this one particular lake could apply to the entire states littering proclivities, just know that this particular lake is part of a much larger watershed area.  Basically, the vast majority of trash that doesn't get picked up makes it's way to the ocean via the state's waterways.  A lot of that water drains into Lake Pontchartrain, which in turn collects litter from a huge area around it.

Volunteers scooping trash out of the water and surrounding areas for the Storm Sweep meticulously catalog each discarded item.  The latest data shows that Louisiana has changed it's littering habits up by adding in a disgusting amount of PPE (personal protective equipment).  That's everything from gloves to masks to face shields - but that's not the most popular thing toss on the ground here.

According to, the project collected data on, bagged up, and removed over 5,000 pounds of trash from lake and surrounding shores.

This year's top offender in the refuse department is: Fast-food wrappers.  Experts say that due to the sharp increase in people eating fast food outside in order to follow social distance guidelines, green spaces like parks and rest stops have been inundated with this specific type of trash.

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