In 2015, outdoor accessory brand UCO Gear launched the UCO #TrashTag Project, a social movement that encouraged the public to clean up litter on trails, parks, beaches and city sidewalks alike. Nearly four years later, the #TrashTag Project has made a comeback, inspiring people around the globe to be accountable for their waste and participate in mass clean ups.
Since just last week, #TrashTag has appeared in over 37.8K Instagram posts all over the world. To date, the movement has been covered by CNN, CBS, Forbes, The Hill and TIME Magazine and more. The social media initiative continues to inspire citizen activists to make a difference on a local level while challenging society’s unsustainable addiction to plastics. UCO Gear is proud to have pioneered such an impactful call to action, supporting their mission of connecting people outdoors.
The original #TrashTag project was conceived by UCO ambassador Steven Reinhold, who was haunted by accidentally littering on a road trip. In a fit of environmentalist guilt, he vowed to gather 100 pieces of trash as retribution. He then brought the idea to UCO Gear, who jumped on the opportunity and pledged a collective goal to clean up 10,000 pieces of trash by the following year. The project gained traction through social media and was given a new life when Byron Román shared a photo of Algerian ecologist and activist Drici Tani Younes, urging “bored teens” to take before and after photos of a public area they cleaned up, now known as the #TrashTag Challenge.
What started as one man’s response to a local environmental issue has evolved into a viral conservation crusade. “I’m super stoked to see the #TrashTag Project spread this far,” says Steven Reinhold, creator of #TrashTag. “I want to thank Byron for what he’s done for the challenge and I definitely want to thank UCO Gear for sponsoring the #TrashTag Project from the beginning. Most importantly, I want to thank everybody out there participating in the challenge. Let’s go clean up the planet!”
The movement goes beyond simply picking trash—it is motivating communities to reevaluate their dependency on single use plastics, paving the way for more sustainable alternatives, said the company.