Whether you’re in business, live and work here, or come to vacation or visit, the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce invites you to Be EPIC with us!
EPIC is a program developed by the Chamber. It stands for Environmental Preservation Initiative for our Communities. It started out as a way to get local businesses to help reduce the non-biodegradable waste (plastic straws and cups, plastic water bottles, “clamshell” take-out food carriers, etc.) that is carelessly left on our beaches.
But the effort is growing. It’s EPIC, after all!
If you have read about the deadly impact plastics have on marine life and the health of the planet, or have seen videos about the plastic islands that are growing in the earth’s oceans, or had to dodge piles of plastics when walking a shoreline, you know EPIC is a project whose time has come!
How it happens
Where does all that plastic clogging our planet come from? It comes from us.
We set a plastic cup in the sand when we leave our beach towels to get a quick, cooling swim. Rambunctious or inattentive beach goers don’t notice it, and knock it over, sending the cup tumbling away.
We carry our take-out to the car and drive to the beach to enjoy a casual meal and watch the sunset. It’s a windy day, and when our meal is complete we walk the take-out container over to a trash bin that is already over-full. As we walk back to the car, we don’t notice that the wind has carried our discarded container away.
We want to stay hydrated and take a couple of bottles of water on our beach walk, then toss them carelessly aside when they’re empty, knowing City crews will be by in the morning to “rake” the beach. Unfortunately, the tide comes in and recedes before City crews arrive, and our trash is carried out to sea.
Multiply these seemingly insignificant acts of littering by the thousands of people who visit our beaches each week and you’ll soon have a very significant problem with plastics that will stay with us for decades. As the plastics accumulate, they choke our marine life, make our beaches look ugly, and gradually destroy our ecosystem.
It’s an epic problem, and it needs an equally epic solution. That’s why we’re inviting everyone to Be EPIC with us!
We have developed a voluntary program, embraced by our business community, for reducing the use of plastic straws: instead of routinely providing plastic straws, participating businesses supply straws only upon request. Some businesses are introducing old-time paper straws. We have expanded our scope to encourage businesses to use paper carry-out containers. We encourage vigorous recycling campaigns.
And we invite YOU to help! How?
How to Be EPIC
You can make a small investment in a personal, reusable straw that you carry in a pocket or bag, so there are fewer plastic straws to throw away.
Use personal water bottles instead of plastic throw-aways when visiting our beaches.
If you carry food to the beach, bring a trash bag and dispose of your trash at home (remember to recycle!).
Carry a small trash bag with you when you walk. Pick up bottles, bottle caps, straws, cups, containers, and utensils that have been discarded by others who are less aware.
Forego the “paper or plastic” shopping bags at checkout, and bring your own reusable shopping bags when you go to the grocery store or produce stand.
Be actively involved in the beach clean-up and restoration programs sponsored by Treasure Island and Madeira Beach, as well as the county, throughout the year.
Be EPIC with us! Be a guardian of our beautiful beaches, and protect them for generations to come!
If we all do our part, we can keep our beaches beautiful and healthy, and protect our marine life at the same time!