VIDEO: Volunteers Remove 29 Tons of Waste from Waterways

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Photo: Katharine Friedgen/United By Blue

During its annual cleanup season, eco-friendly apparel company United By Blue gathers hundreds of volunteers from across the country to help clean trash out of our local waterways.

With a mission statement that promises to remove one pound of waste from oceans and waterways for every product sold, the Philadelphia-based start-up had a lot of ground to cover this year. And, thanks to the help of 1,258 volunteers, the company more than accomplished its goals.

From Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River to the coast off Myrtle Beach, S.C., volunteers convened at 28 separate cleanups to get their hands dirty and make a difference, removing more than 58,000 pounds of waste from rivers, streams and oceans throughout the U.S.

Get Inspired: Learn About the Ocean-Loving College Student Who Founded United By Blue

While the United By Blue team is encouraged by high volumes of collected waste, the company said it hopes to discover more ways to repurpose the trash after cleanup season has come and gone.

“We feel so accomplished removing huge volumes of litter from waterways, but feel a little guilty just sending them to a recycler or landfill,” said Leslie Weinberg, cleanups associate for United By Blue.

Earlier this year, the company struck up a partnership with Method, who is using collected #2, #4 and #5 plastic types for their new line of soap bottles made from ocean trash.

The company is currently seeking further partnerships to help them repurpose waste collected during the 2013 cleanup season, including manufacturers than can turn plastic bottles into polyester fabric and transform foam waste into surfboards.

Learn More: Method to Debut Sea Trash-Based Soap Bottle

Since May 2010, United By Blue has assembled more than 2,300 volunteers for lake, ocean and river cleanups, removing a staggering 140,770 pounds of trash and recyclables. To see a United By Blue cleanup in action, check out the video below.

Homepage Image: United by Blue

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