September 28 2011

"Raptoberfest" Raises Awareness With Plastic Cleanup Event, Online Contests and Special Membership Offer

Join the Surfrider Foundation and Rusty as they celebrate Raptoberfest – a month long initiative to raise awareness about the harms of single-use plastics in our marine and coastal environments. Throughout the month, the Surfrider Foundation will host a variety of activations, special contests and membership offerings.

Plastic bags are the modern-day urban tumbleweed. Over 24 billion pounds of plastic packaging is produced in the United States annually, and almost immediately discarded after use. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2009 about 3.8 million tons of waste plastic “bags, sacks and wraps” were generated in the United States, but only 9.4% of this total was recycled. Plastic water bottles are just as bad. The Container Recycling Institute estimates Americans buy more than 28 billion single serving bottles annually, and only recycle about 20%.  The other 80% of those plastic bottles end up in landfills or incinerators, along our streets, or on our beaches.

“Virtually every piece of plastic ever created still exists and eventually ends up in our coastal environment,” says Matt McClain, Surfrider Foundation’s Director of Marketing & Communications.  “We need to educate people about the harms of single-use plastics, and Raptoberfest provides an excellent platform for engagement and activism.”

To help kick off Raptoberfest, the Surfrider Foundation invites people nationwide to help remove 1,000 square feet of plastic from our coasts and waterways “One Foot At A Time.” Held in partnership with CLIF® BAR’s Day Of Action (www.meetthemoment.com), “One Foot At A Time” calls on volunteers across the country to remove plastic trash from our trails, parks, and beaches and create unique mosaic art sculptures with the collected debris. Volunteers can then submit photos of their square-foot sculptures to the Surfrider Foundation who will award their favorites with a host of prizes courtesy of Rusty.

In addition to “One Foot At A Time,” the Surfrider Foundation is offering a special Raptoberfest membership package. Throughout the month of October new or renewing members join at the $25 will get a one-year membership to the Surfrider Foundation and a limited edition Alpine-inspired Raptoberfest t-shirt. People who join or renew at the $50 level will receive both the membership and t-shirt and also the official Raptoberfest ceramic stein.

For additional information on Raptoberfest, visit www.raptoberfest.org