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Over 14,000 people signed this petition to ban Mardi Gras beads in New Orleans

Organizers call the beads toxic and ‘parade fillers’

Mardi Gras 2016 - February 7, 2016
Over 14,000 people are in support of doing away with Mardi Gras beads.
Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Yesterday, The New Orleans Advocate reported on a Care2 petition that seeks to ban Mardi Gras beads. So far, it has over 14,000 supporters, but there’s no word of how many are from New Orleans.

Care2 is a Silicon Valley-based organization that helps individuals start petitions related to the common good of communities around the world. Right now, the petition has a goal of 15,000 supporters—but there isn’t any information on what happens if the petition quota is met. However, this petition the petition’s organizers directed it toward Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell, and Rex, King of Carnival.

While the organizers of this petition seems to be in favor of Mardi Gras, calling it the “greatest free show on earth,” they cited a recent statement by the New Orleans Department of Public Works, regarding the removal of 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from clogged catch basins earlier this year. The organizers are also concerned about toxic materials that are found in beads, listing “lead, bromine, arsenic, phthalate plasticizers, halogens, cadmium, chromium, mercury and chlorine.”

As an alternative, the organizers suggest replacing the beads with less toxic, biodegradable alternatives. Earlier this week, Nola.com reported on an LSU professor that has developed (on a small scale) biodegradable Mardi Gras beads that are made out of micro-sized algae.

“People want glittery shoes, blinking whatevers, coconuts, moon pies, stuffed animals, footballs - the majority of beads are just parade-filler,” the organizers wrote on the petition’s Care2 petition page.

Check out the petition on Care2’s official website.