Trash Tag Challenge

Have you seen or heard of the new online challenge? #Tashtag or hashtag trashtag as it’s called.  You know what it’s like every year someone comes up with new challenges, some are weird, some are funny and some help to raise awareness.

Well the new challenge is quite different as it requires action to be taken, as it trends online, mainly aimed at teenagers and is aimed at not only raising awareness but actually doing something positive and that will create change if enough people take part.

Now believe it or not the original challenge was set up back in 2015 by an outdoor company, UCO Gear as part of a campaign to protect wilderness areas.

Why Go Viral Now

Well a Facebook post a few weeks back directed at “tired teens” has apparently given it new life and made the hashtag go viral.

The post below from Byron that saw the challenge coming to life again.

Byron's Facebook Post

We feel that this is great news, as not only is it cleaning up some terrible looking areas around the world, but it is really helping to raise environmental awareness, especially around plastics.

Tags that people are adopting for this challenge are #trashtag #trashtagchallange #trashchallange and in Spain #BasuraChallange.

Many people and not just teens just don’t realise the amount of plastics that we are throwing away and a staggering 40% of this comes from food packaging.  More and more people are now wanting laws changed around single use plastics and this challenge could really help make that happen.  Hopefully people taking part in this challenge will really start to become aware of just how big this problem is and the effects that it is having on our environment and all that live in it.

Sea life is hugely affected by the amount of waste ending up in our seas and oceans and it is not uncommon now to see these animals that are affected ending up as stories on Social Media.

Sea Life Dying from Ingesting Our Plastic Waste

While most of the areas that are being cleaned for this challenge are on land it is not the only place affected. Huge amounts of this waste reach or seas and oceans daily.  Most of this waste starts off on land, when not disposed of properly can make its way into our waters.  This can be through drains, the wind carrying it and many other means.

The more we can remove from our land and dispose of correctly the less that will end up in the sea.

On the 2nd February 2017 a Cuvier’s beaked whale was found off the western coast of Norway (not somewhere these whales would normally be seen).  The whale was in such poor condition that it had to be destroyed.

When researched opened the whale up they found staggering amounts of plastics including over 30 plastic bags in the whale’s stomach.  These plastics are thought to have blocked the whale’s intestines causing severe pain. The whale was emaciated with very little blubber left on it.  Read the full story here.

Plastic kills another whale

In 2018 a dead sperm whale was washed ashore in Indonesia; this whale was found to have more than 13 pounds of plastic inside it. This included 115 drinking cups, 25 plastic bags, plastic bottles, two flip-flops and a bag containing more than 1,000 pieces of string. You can read the full story here.

And it is not just the whales many turtles are also suffering due to our waste.  Not only are they becoming entangled in discarded plastics and fishing equipment, but they also are swallowing plastic bags thinking that it is food.  A common food for turtles is jellyfish and they will often mistake plastic bags and balloons for these.  Once swallowed these can not be digested properly and cause blockages for other food stuff that they eat. Find out more here.

Turtle entangled in fishing waste
Kate Charles, Ocean Spirit

Plastic in Our Food!

If that is not enough to make you want to get involved in this challenge and to start taking a stance against plastics in general, is the next statement?

Plastics are now beginning to make there way into our food! Let that start to sink in.

If animals and sea life are starting to eat and swallow plastics the toxins from these plastics are making their way into these animals systems too.  As the food chain goes along each animal is ingesting more of these toxins and as we are really head of the food chain what are we getting? Poisoned from these plastics too.

Not only that, the plastics (and tins), that we buy our food in, also leach these chemicals into our food too.

Take the Challenge

So, I encourage you to take this challenge.  Once you are cleaning up an area you cannot help but REALLY notice the amount of plastics that you will be lifting.  Remember to take your before and after pictures and post them on Social Media to encourage more people to do the same.  Maybe even nominate a few friends as other challenges do.

BUT,  once you have completed your challenge really think about what you have just cleaned up, let it sink in and think about what you can do in your daily life to reduce your use of plastic.

If you want some help with this head over to
where you can get a helping hand.


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7 thoughts on “Trash Tag Challenge”

  1. I really hope this hashtag challenge reaches our part of the world in South Wales (UK) as I live on an estuary area with a lot of beach. You wouldn’t believe the amount of rubbish that is washed up on our beautiful shoreline, and the shoreline of the opposite beach (on the other side of the estuary). 

    What is the best way to spread the word about this? Would you suggest simply following the hashtag over the weekend and retweeting linked posts?

    • HI Chris, 

      I know it’s taking a while to reach our shores, i’m in Scotland.  I’ve taken part in several clean ups recently and yes our shorelines are pretty bad,

      Yes follow the tag, share this post if you can, get out and do it yourself and post to encourage others.

      Every little helps, even organise a group of friends to help and phone your local cleansing to see if they can help supply bags, litter pickers and pick up the rubbish once you are done if it will be a lot.  Most councils are quite accomodating.

      Wish you luck


  2. Amazing, with all the themes around the internet this one seems to be in the positive direction. It still looks as though its for showing off, but if it can help teens clean up for likes I think its a good thing. Im surprised they make videos about the subject as well.

    • Hey J, 

      yes still some showing off involved, but hey, why not after doing something positive.  It these kind of positive post i wouldn’t mind cluttering up my social media.


  3. The first time I saw the trash challenge tag was in February, on Facebook. I felt elated at the sight scene of the cleared former garbage area and an imperative to do same. I see this kind of challenge as a patriotic civic duty of all to keep the environment clean and eco-friendly. 

    Alhough the challenge was focused at teens, I feel it is everyone’s responsibility to eradicate plastics and dirts from their environment for a common good. It’s really so pathetic how much plastics are thrown around everywhere and seeing those plastics in the belly of that whale which murdered it, is a huge danger sign for aqua lives. 

    This sensitization must go broader and broader and everyone of us must take responsibility in putting out wastes especially  plastic wastes from the environment. Every hand must be on deck. 

    Thank you for this reminder article. 

    • Hi and thanks for this comment.  One of the reasons for writing this is to encourage people of all ages to get involved.  We can’t expect teens to do it because it is viral and internet based.  We adults should lead by example or do it as a family challenge.

      I applaude all who take part regardless of age or even the amount cleared.  Every little helps.

  4. Wow!! I am really impressed by the picture of the person that cleaned his environment and snapped it both before and after cleaning. If this is what the Trash Tag challenge is all about, i guess tthats very great because its very meaningful and it will cause drastic beneficial impact to our society and give us a cleaner environment to live in. Thanks so much for this helpful information. 


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