NEW ORLEANS — It’s a precious century-old Carnival season custom in New Orleans — masked riders on extravagant drifts fling strings of vibrant beads or other ornaments to parade watchers shouting with outstretched arms.
It’s all in great enjoyable however it’s likewise a bit of a “plastics catastrophe,” states Judith Enck, a previous Environmental Protection Agency local administrator and president of the advocacy group Beyond Plastics.
Carnival season is at its height this weekend. The city’s yearly series of parades started more than a week ago and will close out on Tuesday — Mardi Gras — a last day of festivity before Lent. Thousands participatein the parades and they leave a mess of garbage behind.
Despite a huge day-to-day clean-up operation that leaves the post-parade landscape incredibly tidy, uncaught beads hang from tree limbs like Spanish moss and get ground into the mud under the feet of passers-by. They likewise wash into storm stress, where they just makecomplex efforts to keep the flood-prone city’s streets dry. Tons haveactually been pulled from the aging drain system in current years.
And those that aren’t eliminated from the storm drainspipes ultimately get cleaned through the system and into Lake Pontchartrain — the big Gulf of Mexico inlet north of the