Energy & Environment

New viral challenge for ‘bored teens’ has people cleaning up trash across the world


People across the globe are cleaning up littered areas and sharing pictures of their efforts online as part of the viral “#trashtag challenge.”

According to CBS News, the challenge started several years ago but resurfaced earlier this month after a man shared a post on Facebook calling on “bored teens” to take part in the challenge.

“Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens,” Facebook user Byron Román posted. “Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then take a photo after you have done something about it, and post it. Here are the people doing it #BasuraChallenge #trashtag Challenge, join the cause. #BasuraChallengeAZ.”

The post, which features a “before” image of a man in a wooden area surrounded by trash and an “after” image of the man in the same area with the trash bagged up, has been shared more than 321,000 times since it was posted last Tuesday.

“Due to teens lately making the news about Tide pods, Bird Box, and now the Momo challenge. Maybe I could inspire a few to do something positive,” Román told CBS News.

In the past week alone, over thousands of social media users — many including teenagers — have posted similar photos using the hashtag across Instagram, Twitter and other social media brands.

Román told the network he came up with the idea to reignite the viral challenge after being inspired by a travel company that launched a project using the hashtag a while back.

According to CBS News, the trend seemed to have originated with a larger project launched by the outdoor equipment company UCO Gear in 2015.

{mosads}”To keep nature beautiful for everyone to enjoy for decades to come, UCO has launched the UCO #TrashTag Project,” the company said in a press release at the time. “The project is a movement that encourages fans and the general public to commit to picking up after ourselves and one another in the wilderness.”

The company said the project was conceived by its “people ambassador,” Steven Reinhold, who had vowed “to gather 100 pieces of trash” during a road trip.

“Returning home from his adventure, Reinhold pitched an expansion of his vision to the UCO team, and the movement began,” the company said.

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