and Keep America Beautiful, Inc. Announce SC Winners during Great American Cleanup

Regional Events Garner Supports from National Organizations

Columbia, SC (May 8, 2023) – The Keep South Carolina Beautiful network of affiliates has a tight bond, and because of that bond two regional cleanup campaigns agreed to a friendly competition during the 2023 Great American Cleanup and Earth Day. 

This year, both Keep America Beautiful, Inc. and EARTHDAY.ORG worked with PalmettoPride/Keep South Carolina Beautiful to issue a friendly challenge between the two regional cleanups. This competition would be based on participation and pounds picked up in comparison to the population of both regions. 

The Lowcountry Regional Cleanup was declared the overall winner among the two regional events based on the criteria. With a population of 273,027, the four counties ranked a .23% participation and an average of 61 pounds picked up per person. 

The Upstate region, with a population of 1,363,262 people, came in with a .12% participation rate and an estimated 36 pounds picked up per person. 

“I’m thrilled that this friendly competition had such a meaningful outcome – 61 pounds per person is quite an achievement,” said Jenny Lawson, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.  “We are so pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with Earth Day Network through fun events such as this one in South Carolina.  Congratulations to the Lowcountry teams and everyone who participated – in this competition all members of the communities that were cleaned are the winners!”

Seven upstate affiliates created the Upstate Team Up to Clean Up to see which county could collect the most trash in the month-long competition. Those counties – Anderson, Greenwood,   

Greenville, Laurens, Newberry, Spartanburg, and Pickens – collected more than 61,000 pounds of trash. Greenwood County was declared the regional winner with more than 600 volunteers picking up 15,128 pounds of trash. An estimated 1,719 volunteers participated among the counties. 

The Lowcountry regional affiliates have a history of working together during the Great American Cleanup. The Lowcountry Regional Cleanup includes Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper. Altogether, the four counties recorded 637 volunteers picking up 38,885 pounds of trash. 

“South Carolina has shown when we come together as a community, we can achieve great things in the fight against pollution.” Said Michael Karapetian, The Great Global Cleanup Campaign Coordinator, “The friendly competition between the Lowcountry and Upstate regions is a testament to the power of collaboration and serves as an inspiration for communities across the nation to unite for the betterment of our environment.”

“Being recognized by the two internationally known organizations highlights what we have known for years – that South Carolina is a leader in litter prevention programs,” said Sarah Lyles, PalmettoPride’s Executive Director, adding “while we are announcing two winners from this friendly competition, we are all winners!”

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PalmettoPride is working towards a litter-free South Carolina. Created as a legislative initiative to fight litter and help beautify South Carolina by engaging citizens to take action in their communities through education, enforcement, awareness, and pickup. Keep South Carolina Beautiful, a division of PalmettoPride, is the state affiliate for Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Its flagship volunteer initiative, The GreatGlobal Cleanup® takes place year round and engages millions of volunteers in creating clean communities worldwide. To learn more, please visit:

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