The Virginia Chapter is currently engaged in the following campaigns:
Cigarette butts are one of the most common and most disgusting forms of litter found on our beaches. Cigarette butts are made from a synthetic fiber type of plastic, which takes years to break down. The Virginia Beach chapter supports banning smoking at our beaches. Our first hurdle will be to convince the State Legislature to allow individual cities to enact and enforce such a law. In the meantime, we are assembling data by collecting and counting cigarette butts that we gathered during beach cleanups. We will use this evidence to raise awareness and educate the public about the realities of cigarette litter on our beaches. We are also involved in a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
How big is the problem? Since 2015, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation has collected more than 26,000 cigarette butts from its parks and natural areas. That’s almost 12 cigarettes per day littering the beautiful environment surrounding us, and those collections are just scratching the surface of what all is out there.
One of Surfrider Foundations main initiatives in this campaign is to install more cigarette receptacles throughout our natural areas. If the receptacles are present, there is absolutely no excuse for littering cigarette butts. In partnership with the City of Virginia Beach, Surfrider has now installed brand new receptacles at five different city parts that are connected with major waterways:
- Redwing Park
- Mount Trashmore
- Beach Garden
If you are a smoker, please use these receptacles. If you know smokers, especially if you are with them in public when they’re smoking, encourage them to find appropriate places to dispose of their cigarette butts. Cigarette litter is harmful to the environment and all of its inhabitants, and no matter how many we pick up or how many receptacles we install, we can’t fully eliminate the issue without your support.
If you want to help, send us an email.
Rise Above Plastics
Plastic pollution poses a significant threat to our planet. The problem with plastic is that it does not biodegrade, so virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists. Once it enters the marine environment, plastic trash is often mistaken for food, and can be fatal to marine life. The Virginia Beach chapter is dedicated to reduce the impacts of plastics in Hampton Roads by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.
If you want to get involved, send us an email.
10 easy ways to reduce your plastic footprint:
- Purchase reusable cloth shopping bags.
- Use a Nalgene or stainless steel water bottle.
- Refuse straws and single-serve packaging.
- Bring a reusable lunch bag or cooler to work.
- Bring your to-go mug to the coffee shop.
- Go digital! Buy your music and videos online.
- Recycle plastics, especially #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE).
- Support plastic bag bans, foam bans, and recycling bills.
- Volunteer at one of our monthly beach cleanups!
- Talk to your family and friends!