“The hurrieder we go, the behinder we get.” Amish words of wisdom
Our personal efforts to eliminate plastics from our lives & workplaces are totally overwhelmed by the vast majority (often friends & family) who don’t care or don’t want to be seen as “different”. Meanwhile, there are fewer re-users & recyclers of plastics in the US as Asian markets dry up. Waste disposal if often our most expensive utility cost!
Plastic grocery bag bans resulted only in thicker, supposedly “reusable”, bags that DON’T get re-used and the well-funded oil/plastics industries upped the ante with new and inglorious ways to encase foods and other objects. Whole Foods previously used paper to bag apples, cherries or paper wrap for seafood, meats & deli items – now everything is thrown into plastic unless you catch the clerk’s ear in time time (t should not have to be this hard to do right.) Baked goods that used to come in cardboard boxes with cello windows are now in hard plastic shells.
Customers are not asking for plastics, plastics manufacturers are convincing grocers and restauranteurs that this is what people want without any evidence. We are all paying the price in increased waste disposal fees. The cost of plastic disposal must be passed on to the manufacturers, grocers and restauranteurs who then may decide it is less expensive to use other methods.
Personal responsibility has not worked and is not a systemic solution. Next steps involve the work of advocating for changes – in allowable uses and operational processes across consumer goods chains: manufacturers, processors, wholesalers, groceries and restaurants. If we can have building codes, we can have plastics & waste codes – these seriously affect our budgets. We will have to change the hearts and minds of citizens and legislators the hard way – city by city, state by state.
Are you willing to gather a group of like-minded folks in your municipality, county or state and write and show up at town council meetings to educate them and advocate for change? We will be developing a series of small step-by-step “Calls to Action” that we will introduce in increments of one week or more (depending on the action)
I would like to interact with like minded activists to develop a nationwide approach and timeline to take actions to keeping plastic, and their dangerous environmental effects, out of our waste streams.
I started a Facebook page where we can start the discussion. I invite you to join (make a request with your location and reason for joining)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZeroPlasticWasteNOW/ (Zero Plastic Waste NOW!)