EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Volunteers from Berry Global and Evansville Water and Sewer Utility teamed up for the tenth consecutive year to “sweep” the Ohio River.
Saturday marked the annual date which volunteers pick up trash and debris left along the Evansville riverwalk.
“We want to keep all this trash out of our waterways. We want to keep it out of the sewer. We want to pick it up, keep everything clean, keep everything healthy, said Diane Marret, who serves as Berry’s Vice President of Sustainability, Consumer Packaging North America. “What we’re doing here today benefits everyone who uses the walkway along the riverfront. We want to provide a beautiful environment for our city and residents.”
The Flores family has been a volunteer since the first local river sweep.
It continues to give up its time to keep its waterways clean of trash.
“To me, it’s fun. It’s heartwarming, and it’s a nice thing to do for the community,” said Elizabeth Flores, who serves as a National Junior Honor Society member. “Instead of staying home and just staying at home and doing nothing, you can come out and help the community, and it’s better for the community.”
Volunteers throughout Saturday morning found blankets, aluminum cans, potato chip bags, plastic straws and bottle caps.
Over the last 10 years, both Marret and the Flores family say the number of volunteers has grown, but Marret says riverfront trash continues to be an issue the city faces.
“It is disappointing that ten years later we still have to do this kind of thing to be honest, but even though we’re still here doing our part and it’s great to see the participation,” said Robert Flores, who works for Berry.”
Through his work at Berry, Robert Flores is aware of pollution issues facing the city.
“We’re trying to create a circular ecnonomy for plastics, and we know that rain debris is an issue. But we’re trying to address that issue with both the design of our products, the use of recycled content and, ultimately, participating in clean-up such as this,” Robert Flores said. “We’re really trying to do our part.”