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Orlando plastic study aims to reduce waste, protect waterways

The City of Orlando is partnering with a team of local environmentalists to study the main sources of the city’s plastic pollution with the goal of reducing it.

The Circularity Assessment Protocol or CAP study will be conducted by scientists at the DC-based Ocean Conservancy and the University of Georgia.

J.P. Brooker is the Director of Florida Conservation.

He said the goal of the study is to determine how to reduce plastic waste while simultaneously protecting local waterways.

“What starts in Orlando, ends up in the Everglades, water-wise and or ends up in the St. Johns River and out through Jacksonville. And highlighting those connections is really important," said Brooker. "And what we're announcing has a lot to do with the connection between Florida cities and marine debris that ends up in our oceans.”

Brooker said solutions to ongoing plastic pollution are needed with the threat of toxic algae blooms and manatee die offs throughout Florida.

And to keep humans in Orlando safe too.

“They're consuming that plastic in water that they drink. They're consuming it in beer, in fact, and so people in Orlando are certainly drinking water and drinking beer, and they're also taking in plastics on account of that," said Brooker. "And so by having a better understanding of where the plastics are coming from, we can keep the plastics from entering our ecosystem and ultimately entering our bodies and potentially having negative impacts on our health.”