The Harmonia Krewe will forbid the throwing of plastic beads by its members during the Carnival.
Mardi Gras’ plastic beads have been criticized for years now. And the new Krewe of Harmonia, set to parade for the first time during Carnival 2022, plans to prohibit them. Their captain, Chantell H.Reed, has cleared up that members will be free to create their own handmade necklaces but will not be allowed to throw bought plastic pearls.
According to the Krewe, plastic beads are irresponsible and detrimental to the environment. Reed assured that they’re “not going to waste the money and we’re not going to do additional harm to our environment,”
In the last years, the use of these beads and the pollution they create has been debated by festival-goers. In 2019 46 tons of Carnival beads were pulled from a five-block stretch of the drainage system. This issue has made people look for alternatives that are more environmentally friendly. A Houston-based company called NexEvo even created plant-based starch beads that would break down in just a few months and others have recently started to put together their own wooden necklaces.
The Harmonia Krewe is a newly formed all-female group that will parade for the first time at the 2022 festival.
The practice of throwing beads during the Carnival was inspired was Renaissance festivals that took place before Lent, where revelers would toss things into the air in celebration of the coming fast. Beads used on Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold, with the colors containing the Christian symbolism of justice, faith, and power.
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