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Keeping America Beautiful

Volunteers Keep America Beautiful!

For many decades, our streets, parks, highways, waterways and lakes have been fouled by an endless stream of litter and waste.

In the past, the concern was primarily about aesthetics and some about pollution. Today it’s microplastics, industrial oils and lubricants and other chemicals that leach out from the packaging of numerous products to pollute our land and water supply.

And most of the pollution in our waterways and lakes came from land-based litter. As tolerance for littering and pollution has decreased, we are seeing positive change in attitudes and habits.

Groups such as Keep America Beautiful are partly responsible for growing awareness and implementation of anti-litter campaigns. More is needed in the way of taxes and perhaps fines for littering.

Who is Keep America Beautiful?

Keep America Beautiful is a national organization of amazing people within 700 affiliate organizations who care about this country.

Keep America Beautiful was formed in 1953 when a group of corporate and civic leaders met in New York City to bring the public and private sectors together to develop and promote the idea of national cleanliness and litter prevention.

Their many programs and training events through the last 80 years are too numerous to mention. They have teamed up with many large corporate donors to launch fundraising, project grants, digital video awards, ad campaigns, and more. Their biggest asset is an army of volunteers who perform the actual clean-ups in communities.

Keep America Beautiful Website.

Keep America Beautiful Website. Screenshot courtesy of

KAB provides organization, education, guidance, and support for organizations wishing to make their communities cleaner and greener. Your HOA or community association would benefit from a partnership with them.

With litter and waste polluting our drinking water and farmlands, and making our communities unhealthy while lowering the esteem of our country, Keep America Beautiful is a breath of fresh air.

Massive Reduction of Litter Across the US

As of September 18, 2023, KAB has cleaned and beautified almost 60,000 miles of roadways across the US. They’ve collected 69 million pounds of trash and recycled over 14.9 million pounds of recyclables. That’s all from volunteers who spent 2.9 million hours keeping the USA beautiful.

This volunteerism is a special trend that we should support and further. KAB has spawned affiliates in many states, inspiring them to launch special beautification events. As this movement grows, we’ll see more people involved with more special community clean-up days throughout the year.

Litter is Still a Big Problem

In 2020, Keep America Beautiful released the largest study on litter in America.

Americans are littering less in 2023, a positive trend to talk about. Thanks to new US packaging laws and more trash bins in parks, and more discouragement of littering, our landscapes and cities are less littered and with less harmful packaging materials.

Infographic courtesy of and the Visual Capitalist.

In some urban areas, severe problems remain. There is a direct connection between fast food and home delivery packaging, and levels of litter we find. Most of the litter today is fast food packaging including plastic cups, straws, boxes, paper flyers, plastic bags and bottles, liquor bottles, polystyrene boxes, and plastic wrap.

Plastic waste is particularly harmful due to the microplastics it contains and is now in the soil and in our food supply. While global climate change is hyped in the media, the problem of plastic waste is not given the priority it deserves.

The poisons we release end up in our meals on our dinner tables.

Is Taxing the Problem Going to Work?

In fact, a tax on the companies that produce the packaging is entirely appropriate, yet only a handful of states have enacted a litter tax. And those that do use the funds to educate consumers on the damage caused by litter, but rarely to fund cleanups themselves.  The State of Washington has taken a leadership role in taxing companies that produce litter.

Litter reduction and recycling initiatives are a big part of eco-friendly community association management. Your HOA or community association would benefit from an affiliation with Keep America Beautiful.

Check out Keep America Beautiful’s programs including:

Community Grants

Great American Clean Contact



Find out more about how becoming a green-friendly association is good business and good branding.


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