Robbinsdale Woman Highlights Crystal Lake Trash Problem
Malia Jones picks up trash around Crystal Lake and keeps a record of how much trash she collects. She’s found hundreds of pieces of trash and has caused her to be more concerned about the amount of plastic in and around the lake.
“It’s very disheartening I guess,” Jones said. “You get angry.”
In 2017, Jones conducted her own garbage survey around Crystal Lake, which is just a couple blocks from her home. Jones collected over 1,400 pieces of trash along Crystal Lake near the boat launch and fishing dock. Since then, she’s been on a mission to make people realize that littering has reached a crisis stage.
From sandals to softballs to straws, Jones has seen every type of debris.
“I picked up over 100 straws…Jones said. “Ninety percent of everything I picked up was plastic and the majority of that was single use plastics. Plastic you use once and throw away.”
Jones says Plastic is a Problem
“It’s not biodegradable, meaning we don’t have any organisms that will break it down,” Jones said. “It’s considered photo-degradable, meaning the sun will break it down into smaller pieces, but it will never completely disappear. It will just get smaller and smaller.”
For Jones this is personal. Her close proximity to Crystal Lake has made her hyper-aware of all the trash she sees.
“I guess I feel very connected to the lake in that sense,” Jones said. “I want people to take care of it.”
Soon Jones will have a masters in biology. But for now she is well versed on trash, where it comes from, and how it ends up in Crystal Lake.
“A lot of it matches places that we have close by downtown,” Jones said. “Litter encourages more litter. If they see someplace that’s littered, they’re more likely to litter because they think what’s one more piece of litter?”
Jones will be back on the lakefront on April 27th. She and others will be cleaning up the park to observe Arbor Day.