Biodegradable beads help reduce Mardi Gras plastic pollution
Author: Mia Coco
Mardi Gras necklaces have been thrown at parades since 1871, originally made of glass beads and tossed with doubloons and other knickknacks. The glass has now been replaced with plastic, and the necklaces are thrown alongside stuffed animals, cups, hats, candy and more. To fight back against Mardi Gras waste, the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans launched the Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative. This initiative encourages people to reuse their beads, invest in sustainable beads and volunteer to clean up after the Mardi Gras festivities. More recently, there has been a push for the use of sustainable beads. As a response, Noble Plastics - a company based in St. Landry parish - has assisted LSU professor Naohiro Kato in the creation of a biodegradable bead. Kato’s new biodegradable bead provides a way to protect Mardi Gras traditions while also protecting our state’s environment and residents.