By Joe Pike

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) has stepped up their preservation game by installing five new bag receptacles at their north, middle and south beach access points — BlueTubes is their name and keeping the beach clean is their game.

What make these receptacles unique is both their color and their design. While they might seem like ordinary trash cans, they are actually meant for distributing plastic bags to beachgoers. The hope of both the Reserve and BlueTubes is that people will be inspired to clean their beaches if they are provided with bags for doing so.

Instead of people having to bring their own bags from home, BlueTubes has stocked their receptacles with plenty so that people may clean at their leisure. Once they have picked up some trash they simply throw it away in a nearby trashcan.

Just grab a bag, pick something up and throw it away.

All beachgoers are more than welcomed to supply their neighborhood BlueTubes with plastic bags of their own, as community involvement is the main goal with these receptacles.

Patrician Price, public information officer for the Reserve, and the rest of the Reserve staff are still awaiting data that will confirm whether or not the BlueTubes are improving the sanitation of the beaches.

“Our team of rangers and volunteers have worked really hard to get them implemented here at the Reserve,” said Price. “But because they are so newly installed, we are still trying to gather our first round of data.”

Price hopes to have reports soon.

Since beginning operations out of Melbourne, BlueTubes has successfully gained sponsorships for their receptacles in more than 25 locations across the east coast of Florida.

Visit for more information about BlueTubes.

Photo courtesy Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

BlueTube placed at GTM Research Reserve’s South Beach dune crossover.


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