Breaking the Cycle

Thank y’all for those who came to my last Zero Waste Shopping Event at MOMs Organic College Park, MD.  MOMs Organic College Park, MD – you can bring your own container to refill on many food items, like flour, and olive oil, but you can also fill up on detergent and Dishwasher soap !!

Some things discussed at our Zero Waste Shopping Event among us was it feels like our efforts to cut on plastic seems pointless  a country that uses more disposable plastic then any other country in the world. Good people we know have kids birthday parties, producing 10 pounds of trash, or well-intentioned dentist giving your crying child a balloon. How, HOW, can we get the world to de-normalize the use of single- use plastic- especially when its comes in at a price point of  from $0 to $5.  The low price point, I have called it the Devil’s pricing. I call it the devil’s pricing because we tend not to question things that we get free or pay less then $5. I call it the Devil’s pricing because we overconsume things that are cheap. We figure, it did cost us much, has no effect. Not true, when looking at some of the top 10 items found in a beach clean-up they often things we received for free or did not pay much for- things like straws, food wrappers, and plastic grocery bags. Here is an article of top items found in beach clean-ups-

Sometimes- working in Plastic Pollution, you start to wonder if everyone just stopped excepting free things, or cheap things, that Plastic Pollution would be solved. Period. End of issue. No need for the almost 20 documentaries on the subject. No need for the more then 17 Nonprofits that have dedicated their time to exclusively fighting plastic pollution. Can we just outlaw things that cost us less then $5, so the good people can win.  Big Plastics  would never let us give up free, and cheap. They create a series of laws that have developed our reliance on themselves. First- making the illusion that recycling is happening more frequently then it is. Big Plastics create the illusion that all plastic can be recycled by placing that famous Recycling logo.

Image result for recycling symbol

The recycling logo, does not mean that a product is recyclable- I repeat the Recycling logo does not mean that a product is recyclable. There are no legal restrictions to how and when you  use the recycling logo. So go ahead put on your next product. While the recycling logo means-literally nothing, the number that sometimes appear inside arrow is the real information that the recycling centers need. The number tells the recycling center what type of resin the plastic was made it, determining if it is recycling.  By-the-way most plastic is not recyclable.   The recycling logo is not needed. Plastic industry likes to keep the recycling logo there to mislead the public to believe that their product is recyclable.  Most the time most plastics are not recyclable.  Here is an article that discusses some legal changes we need to make regarding the recycling logo. To learn more about the actual meaning of the recycling logo here is an article.

Big Plastic also tries to stop local communities from banning their products. This not a joke. There are literal bans on banning plastic bags. Its hard to believe- but its true. Here is an article explaining. A long but good read. A story of a industry- Plastics, that work extremely hard to keep themselves normal in American life. Here is the article.

Remember just refusing to use one item of plastic, can move the cultural needle away from Plastic. When my kids get Happy Meals, from McDonalds- I always say no toy. This does not avoid all plastics, but it cuts down. By saying no to the free toys of Happy Meals, and similar things, in the past 5 years, has lead me to avoid 500 useless toys in my life. 

This month in April, I will not have any Zero Waste Support Group Meetings due to Easter, Spring Break, and Earth Day. Still we are having Zero Waste Plastic Easter Hunt. Here is the Eventbrite if you are interested.

Also do not miss the exhibit  and performance about Plastic Pollution by Uprooted Dance at April 28th at Brookside Gardens 11 AM to 4PM called the Legacy Project.  Free and open to the publicHere is details on the Facebook.

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