TAMPA, Fla. — The pirates of the Gasparilla parades throw out thousands of bead necklaces for folks to grab.
Florida Aquarium wants to make sure those beads stay out of Tampa waterways, and they want your help.
- Keep Beads Out of the Bay encourages people to recycle their beads
- For every $10 lbs., get $10 off admission
The aquarium's new initiative is called "Keep Beads Out of the Bay." For every 10 lbs. of beads you collect and bring into the aquarium, you will get $10 off admission. Those who bring in 30 pounds or more will get free admission.
"[The beads] can break down into harmful microplastics, which can be ingested by fish and other animals, and eventually can even get into the food that we eat," said Meghan Fellner with Florida Aquarium. "The animals can accidentally ingest whole beads which can be detrimental to their health. So it's really important to keep beads out of the water so they can be recycled."
The aquarium plans to reuse and recycle the beads.
The beads do not have to be from Gasparilla. Martin Luther King Day Parades are happening Monday in Tampa and St. Petersburg.
You can bring them to the Florida Aquarium now through January 27.