Tuesday, July 5 2022 2:51

Spotted This Week

Written by Monica McQuail, Willistown Conservation Trust

Plastic Free July — will you join the challenge?

This week, we’re highlighting Plastic Free July, an effort to eliminate single-use plastic throughout the month. Check out this article by Monica McQuail at the Willistown Conservation Trust and join the challenge!

During the past few years, and especially during the height of the pandemic, we’ve witnessed a drastic increase in single-use plastic. Our coveted hand sanitizer comes in plastic bottles of all sizes, plastic containers of disposable wipes are commonplace, plus some food at the grocery store has sprouted protective plastic coverings.

Some of these plastic habits are dissipating now, but the reality is that plastics, and most notably single-use plastics, are still entrenched in our daily lives.

As the name suggests, single-use plastics are used only once before being discarded. Things like straws, plastic sandwich bags, plastic cutlery and Styrofoam. To make matters worse, our recycling systems are broken. According to the EPA, less than 10% of plastics are recycled. So even if you do the right thing by cleaning and tossing that plastic cup into a recycling bin, it’s unlikely it actually gets processed. Plus, microplastics continue to end up in our waterways, affecting local watersheds and lands along with birds around the world, and as recent research suggests, even making their way into our bodies.

Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! Our society is dependent on plastic, but you don’t have to be. This month, consider joining the hundreds of millions across the world taking the challenge to live plastic-free for all 31 days in July! Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution — so we can have cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities.

The Plastic Free Foundation has issued this challenge for the past 12 years, and they’ll walk you through tips and resources to help you on your plastic-free journey, whether you want to eradicate single-use plastic waste at home, work, school, your local cafe or all of the above.

You can start small by bringing reusable grocery bags and a water bottle everywhere you go, or go big by working with local businesses and your community to commit to doing better together. You may surprise yourself and continue the challenge into August and beyond.

Sign up for the challenge at PlasticFreeJuly.com. And visit Willistown Conservation  Trust’s website and social media (@wctrust) to see how their entire staff commits to Plastic Free July!

Willistown Conservation Trust focuses on 28,000 acres within the watersheds of Ridley, Crum and Darby Creeks. Since 1996, the Trust has permanently conserved over 7,500 acres, including three nature preserves open to the public: Ashbridge, Kirkwood and Rushton Woods Preserves. And it offers nationally renowned programs: Bird Conservation, Community Farm, Education and Outreach, Land Protection, Stewardship and Watershed Protection Programs. More at WCTrust.org.

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