More than four million visitors come to Yosemite National Park every year, and despite the National Parks Service’s “Leave No Trace” ethos, they leave behind a lot of trash.
A recent volunteer-driven cleanup effort to pick up as much stray litter as possible revealed the most common types of trash abandoned, as the Chronicle reported. The event, called the Yosemite Facelift, is held annually and hosted by the Yosemite Climbing Association. This year, thousands of volunteers collected 10,432 pounds of litter, according to its website.
During the cleanup, representatives from a partner nonprofit, the 5 Gyres Institute focused on reducing plastics, conducted a random sampling of litter to understand what items bypass Yosemite's waste management system, per the Chronicle.
The most common items, in order? Food wrappers, cigarette butts, cleaning wipes, napkins, bottle caps and rings, beverage bottles, pieces of plastic wrapping, receipts, clothing/shoes, twist ties, food waste, hair accessories, and straws.
And the most common brand, by large measure? Marlboro. Afterwards, Kirkland, Camel, Jolly Rancher, Starburst, Clif, McDonald's, Wrigley, Crystal Geyser, Orbit, Starbucks, Eco-Products, Häagen-Dazs, Coca-Cola, Nature Valley, and Parliament.
This year’s cleanup was the 20th anniversary of the event, and reportedly marked the lowest amount of trash found over the years.
The same cleanup last year reportedly found far more face masks. Additionally, according to the Chronicle, last year volunteers found a toaster, an old Polaroid of a man in a “scandalous Santa outfit,” and other “intimate products.”
Image of Yosemite National Park via Unsplash/Zach Searcy.