By ProGrade Digital | June 28, 2022

Protect the Beauty of Our Public Lands by Compiling Data on the Pollution in Our Parks

San Jose, California (June 28, 2022) – ProGrade Digital is partnering with The 5 Gyres Institute and other partners, and calling on the public, to compile data on plastic pollution in U.S. National Parks using 5 Gyres research platform, TrashBlitz. The data will contribute to a report that unveils the top items, materials, and brands of waste found in all 63 national parks.

Plastic-Free Parks TrashBlitz follows a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of the Interior to phase out single-use plastic on federal lands, including national parks1. The order calls for a reduction in the procurement, sale, and distribution of single-use plastic products and packaging, with the goal of phasing out single-use plastic products by 2032.

“While we applaud Secretary Deb Haaland for her leadership and commitment to reducing plastic waste on public lands, a 10-year timeline is far too long,” said Alison Waliszewski, Policy and Outreach Manager at 5 Gyres. “We hope that the data from Plastic-Free Parks TrashBlitz can help to identify the top items and brands that are polluting national parks to determine where we need to shift our focus first.”

Earlier this year, nearly 70,000 citizens petitioned the Department of Interior to eliminate the sale and distribution of single-use plastics throughout the National Park Service, an initiative that is supported by over 80% of voting Americans2. According to Interior Department reporting, almost 80,000 tons of municipal solid waste was generated on Interior lands in 2020, and plastics accounted for a significant portion of that total3.

In addition to guiding the Department of Interior in the best steps to take, the results from Plastic-Free Parks TrashBlitz can also be used to leverage additional support for the Reducing Waste in National Parks Act4.

“Plastic waste in places of beauty on land and sea is destroying the beautiful scenery that we all love to capture in our photos and videos,” said Mark E. Lewis, VP of Marketing and Co-Founder of ProGrade Digital. “Earlier this year ProGrade Digital removed all plastic from our packaging and we are phasing in 100% biodegradable packaging, removing approximately 3,000 pounds of plastic per year from the environment. We are proud to be partnering with 5 Gyres this summer to gather data on the plastic pollution in our parks. This data could help to move forward legislation that will remove single-use plastics from our national parks and keep those spaces beautiful for generations to come.”

Plastic-Free Parks TrashBlitz will run from July 1 – September 30. For more information and to register your cleanup, visit

Nonprofit and brand partners supporting Plastic-Free Parks TrashBlitz include 5 Gyres, Azulita Project, Ban SUP Refill, Break Free From Plastic, ChicoBag Company, Community Environmental Council, Costa Sunglasses, Dream Into Action, Gnarwhal Coffee Co., Inland Ocean Coalition, Klean Kanteen, MOM’s Organic Market, Natracare, Oceana, Oceanic Global, Oceanic Preservation Society, Plaine Products, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN), prAna, Preserve, ProGrade Digital, Resilient Palisades, Sarama Inc, Shark Stewards, Story of Stuff Project, Sway, The Bay Foundation, The Last Plastic Straw, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Zero Waste Washington.


About TrashBlitz
TrashBlitz is a data collection platform and community-focused research project created by The 5 Gyres Institute. The community-based project is designed to engage local stakeholders in measuring plastic pollution and other trash across various cities – from shorelines to riverbeds to urban neighborhoods – and utilizing data to generate relevant action plans. TrashBlitz provides robust research protocols, a web-based platform that identifies problem products and brands, and a network to bring diverse stakeholders together to co-create solutions to stop plastic pollution at the source.

About The 5 Gyres Institute
The 5 Gyres Institute is a leader in the global movement against plastic pollution with more than 10 years of expertise in scientific research and engagement on plastic pollution issues. Since 2009, the team has completed 19 expeditions, bringing more than 300 citizen scientists, corporate executives, brands, and celebrities to the gyres, lakes, and rivers to conduct firsthand research on plastic pollution. Through this research, 5 Gyres engages diverse stakeholders in understanding the science to drive impact as well as conduct community outreach and citizen science to implement data-driven solutions. With over 1,400 Ambassadors in 66 countries, 5 Gyres supports and is supported by community members with information, tools and connections to help drive local change to fight this global crisis.

About ProGrade Digital
The founders of ProGrade Digital are industry veterans in the removable storage and digital photography industries. Each, having spent time at leading companies such as Lexar and SanDisk, brings extensive expertise in the design, development and manufacture of digital storage products, plus longstanding relationships with key manufacturing and supply chain partners. The company focuses exclusively on development of memory cards, card readers and workflow software for professional imaging markets. Flagship products include a full line of USB 3.1/3.2 Gen 2 & Thunderbolt 3 card readers, CFast 2.0, SDXC UHS-II and CFexpress Type B cards in a range of capacities all optimized to render maximum performance when paired with highend DSLR, mirrorless, camcorder and digital cinema cameras from manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, RED and Blackmagic. ProGrade Digital memory cards expand the creative visions of cinema and photography professionals around the world.

Media Contact:
Mark Lewis
Vice President Marketing
ProGrade Digital, Inc.