As a professional athlete, Dak Prescott understands that small things can make a big difference.
So it came as no surprise to those who know Prescott when, during a nationally televised football game, he was seen automatically placing his own trash into a receptacle. That small gesture spoke volumes to thousands of fans about Prescott’s character and his sense of personal responsibility, both on and off the field.
That’s why Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB), the state’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, selected Prescott as the Honorary Champion for its upcoming Anti-Litter Campaign. The campaign will focus on keeping the highways and roadways litter-free, advancing the fight to End Littering in Mississippi.
The best leaders know that actions speak louder than words. “Don’t Litter… Can It, Mississippi!” is the key campaign message that KMB will use in this special anti-litter campaign that launched in April 2018 and promotes personal responsibility and leadership.
“We are delighted to have Mr. Dak Prescott serving as Honorary Champion of this campaign. Dak sets an example for not only our youth but for all Mississippians to put litter in the proper place. We believe his endorsement can positively influence the actions of others,” said Sarah Kountouris, Executive Director for Keep Mississippi Beautiful.
“Pepsi and Dak have teamed up with Keep Mississippi Beautiful to raise awareness that it’s up to each of us to change our behavior. Litter hurts our state’s image, is a drain on our resources and negatively impacts our quality of life, economic development and jobs. Through Dak’s vivid example, we believe that this new campaign can make a positive difference,” said Shelley Brown Floyd, Chief Marketing Officer at Brown Bottling Group and President of the Miss. Beverage Association.
The image of Prescott, a graduate of Mississippi State University, will appear on outdoor billboards throughout the state for one year. Broadcast radio spots, reminding drivers not to litter, will complement the outdoor campaign.
“Dak Prescott is a fine role model for our youth and young adults. As a great athlete, he understands that we each have duties to perform. Acceptance and ownership of those duties is necessary for the team’s success, and also for the good of the entire community and our state. By his example, Dak is challenging each of us to make a difference by making an effort to put litter where it belongs – in the trash can or recycled,” said Ron Aldridge, KMB Board of Directors and Exec. V.P. & General Counsel for the Miss. Beverage Association.
Daily, on our nation’s roadways, thousands of people casually toss out litter, and that adds up to a big, costly problem for our nation. Litter cleanup is costing the U.S. taxpayers billions each year.
What’s changed in 40 years since Keep America Beautiful started in 1969?
Below are highlights from Keep America Beautiful’s 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study:
- Visible litter on our nation’s roadways has decreased approximately 61% in the past 40 years.
- Paper, metal, glass, and beverage container litter has decreased by 74.4% since the 1969 national study.
- However, the incidence of plastic items in the litter stream has increased over 165%. This reflects a 230% per capita increase in use of plastic packaging over the past 40 years. This plastic has the ability to end up in storm drains and eventually in our waterways, causing significant harm to marine life or on land to wildlife.
Keep Mississippi Beautiful is part of the Keep America Beautiful network, which includes 40-plus local affiliates in Mississippi.
“We attribute the dramatic decrease in litter to the education and ongoing clean-up efforts of Keep America Beautiful and their affiliates throughout the country. Plastic litter has increased by 165% since 1969. These changes in the packaging materials leave many opportunities for improvement,” said Kountouris.
How You Can Help!
Keep Mississippi Beautiful encourages Mississippians to be good stewards. Here are a few tips:
- Carry and use a car litterbag. When these are full, empty them into a trash and/or recycling receptacle.
- Use a car or portable ashtray to dispose of cigarette butts and lighting material.
- Do not throw any litter out of vehicle windows.
- Once litter is on the ground, it attracts more litter. A clean community discourages littering and improves the community’s appearance and quality of life of its citizens.
“Everyone has a right to be proud of their community. A clean community helps preserve property values and economic development prospects. We want people to get into the habit of not littering, so doing the right thing becomes as automatic to them as it is to Dak. Start today. Can it, Mississippi!” concluded Kountouris.