Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Plastic Pollution Coalition

While not specific to Upstate New York, plastics nevertheless pose an immense challenge to a slew of environmental issues that affect all of us and the quality of life in the places where we live. The Plastic Pollution Coalition, based in Berkeley, California, has a few fantastic ideas about reducing the consumption and, therefore, the demand for plastic utensils and containers in the form of their S.U.P.E.R. Hero Pledge, which goes a little something like this:

"Some of the greatest contributors to plastic pollution are single-use plastics, and disposable plastics. Designed for one use, or to be discarded, these objects offer a small convenience but remain forever. Follow the “4 Rs” of sustainable living:
Just say NO to single-use and disposable plastics like bags and bottles, straws, cups, plates, silverware and razors. Instead, bring your own shopping and produce bags to the market. Carry a reusable bottle with you for drinking on the go. Bring your travel mug to the coffee shop. Pack your own utensils. Skip the straw. (Plastic straws are for suckers!) Bring your own containers for take-out or ask for non-plastic disposable packaging.
Reduce waste: buy in bulk, choose products with the least packaging, look for products and packaging made from renewable resources, and avoid plastic packaging and containers. Choose products that have the least amount of disposable parts, like razors with replaceable blades and toothbrushes with replaceable brushes.
Reuse preferably nontoxic (glass, stainless steel) containers and goods to make less waste. Bad habits are disposable, containers are reusable.
Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce, or reuse. Recycling is a last option because it uses energy, and there may not be a market for the refabricated materials."

Sign the pledge yourself here!