Submitted by Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District
With significant restrictions on plastics recycling, Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District is working hard to reestablish new outlets for recycling these plastics and identify other potential solutions. Yet few remedies are as instantly gratifying or environmentally and economically friendly as drastically reducing the plastics purchased by all of us on the island. Lopezians have reported feeling stressed, anxious and guilty about putting previously recyclable No. 1–7 mixed plastics into the landfill. With these challenges in mind, LSWDD is excited to announce an island-wide “Year to Zero” campaign that we will facilitate in partnership with the community over the next 12 months.
The Year to Zero is kicking off this February with an invitation for the community to participate in a simple Zero Waste Challenge. The challenge includes a quick and informative personal waste audit, a commitment to reducing or eliminating specific items and the adoption of tips or tools that can support each person’s goals. Already, over a dozen households and 38 high school students have signed up to start whittling down their waste piles!
Each month we will highlight best practices, emerging solutions and new opportunities for reducing not only plastics but many other materials that unnecessarily end up in landfills. When it comes to plastics, “Refuse, Reuse, Recycle,” is an accurate and actionable approach. Yet plastics have become so engrained in our society and ubiquitous in our daily lives that this is justifiably a difficult task. LSWDD will publish news articles, host community events and work diligently with local residents and businesses to support key initiatives that will get us all closer to zero waste.
Coming in March, we will focus on tips and information for further reducing plastics. LSWDD and Blossom Grocery are working to support whole-system solutions to help customers walk out the door with quality products and less packaging.
To increase success, a Zero Waste Challenge information session will be hosted by LSWDD at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 the Lopez Library, and the whole community is invited to attend. We will provide participants with resources, prizes, support and peer inspiration. For more information and to sign up, visit lopezsolidwaste.org.