Litter is an eyesore and a real environmental threat

Trash is responsible for the deaths of countless marine lives, including turtles, fish, marine mammals and seabirds. The worst offenders are bottles, bottle caps, bags, wrappers, and cigarette butts.

How do animals die from trash?

  • They get stuck in marine trash debris.

  • They mistake trash for food and eat it, where it remains undigested in their stomachs and causes blockages.

    • Plastic bags floating in the water can resemble jellyfish, which sea turtles love to eat.

    • Seabird parents gather trash that look like food (ex: red bottle caps resemble small crabs) and feed it to their young.

    • The chicks feel full and stop eating, eventually starving to death.

Click here for some heartbreaking photos by Chris Jordan of birds who are victims of trash in the Midway Islands.

What can I do?

Don’t litter! Always throw away your trash and encourage others to do the same.

Pick up any trash you see to keep it out of creeks and waterways.

Take action!

  • Organize and/or volunteer for a trash clean-up day. Check our Events & Meetings page for upcoming events.

  • Learn how to reduce your waste impact.

  • Work with EH&S to conduct a campus trash assessment.

  • Reduce plastic by petitioning local businesses to get rid of plastic to-go containers.

  • Go to Get Involved for more ideas on how you can help reduce the amount litter on campus and in the environment.

What UC Berkeley is doing?

UC Berkeley's EH&S department is launching a Don’t Litter campaign that will involve outreach to our community, including students, visitors, and residents. In addition there is a UC wide initiative to get to Zero Waste by 2020.