GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — (Grand Haven Tribune) More than 300 people scoured the Grand Haven State Park beach on Saturday for a beach clean-up event.  

They collected more than 4,500 pieces of small plastics and over 200 pounds of waste. 

The event was the idea of Briana Meeker, a senior completing her capstone project at Aquinas College. Meeker also interns with West Michigan Environmental Action Council and works for Padnos Recycling.

To carry out this effort, she partnered directly with local business, Aldea Coffee’s Brittany Goode, as well as CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc.’s Drew Paloucek. With guidance from the Alliance for the Great Lakes, they collaborated to spread the word and execute the beach cleanup.

“It is rewarding to see the impact so many hands working together can accomplish, and so inspiring to see all of us making a healthier, happier lakeshore,” Meeker said. 

The beach cleanup is a small piece of Aldea’s overall vision of using their mission and business model as an example of sustainability, leading others to better preservation practices. Through meetings with individuals, businesses, commercial composting facilities and the City of Grand Haven, they are gathering data and interest in hopes to bring commercial composting and better recycling practices to the West Michigan communities.

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