Did you know that approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic and other debris ends up in the world’s oceans every year? In addition to being unsightly while enjoying a day at the beach, these plastics and other debris threaten entire ecosystems and the food supply of both wild animals and humans.

The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Highways Division (DOT-HWYS) is doing their part to eliminate trash from state owned roadways and their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) through the implementation of a Trash Reduction Plan (TRP). The TRP was developed in 2016 and included a detailed study to determine DOT-HWYS baseline trash load. The goal of the TRP is to reduce the trash load by 50% by the year 2023 and 100% by the year 2036.

Trash reduction techniques implemented through the TRP include public education, increased land-based cleanup and the installation of trash capture devices in the MS4. Over the last year DOT-HWYS has significantly increased litter pickup frequency along most of Oahu’s state highways and installed over 100 trash interception devices throughout the MS4. To learn more about DOT-HWYS TRP and how you can help us reach our trash reduction goals visit the Trash Free Hawaii website at Trash Free Hawaii website.

Summary of DOT-HWYS Trash Reduction Plan.

One of many temporary trash traps installed as part of DOT-HWYS trash characterization study.

Example of DOT-HWYS Trash Reduction Plan public outreach and education activity.

Curb inlet screen guards have been installed along Kamehameha Highway in Kaneohe to keep trash out of the storm drain system.