Use Reusable Containers
- Carry reusable beverage containers in your car for each member of your family.
- At venues where you cannot bring your own water bottles, take the plastic containers provided with you for recycling and encourage others to do the same.
- Keep reusable bags in your car, including grocery bags containing several previously used produce bags.
- Since recycling centers have difficulty recycling plastic bags, take worn-out plastic bags to stores that recycle them.
- Avoid stores that automatically put products in plastic bags; frequent stores where produce is not wrapped in plastic.
- For restaurant use, carry recyclable or biodegradable carryout bags, glass or silicone straws, reusable bamboo or metal utensils, etc. so you can refuse plastic straws, cutlery, and plastic/Styrofoam containers for takeout.
- Request no straws before servers have a chance to put straws in your drinks or throw them on the table. You can use this action to quickly educate anyone who will listen about our huge plastic problem.
- Follow guidelines on acceptable items for recycling. Many countries now refuse US recyclables, so each recycler bases its machinery and its agreements with manufacturers that use recycled materials.
- Recycle aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and other recyclables when picking up trash on your walks. The Randol Mill Park greenhouse will accept plastic pots for use in their plant sales. Contact Josephine Keeney or email [email protected] if you have plastic plant pots to recycle.
- Use DFW Craigslist, Nextdoor, or freecycle.org-Arlington https://groups.freecycle.org/group/ArlingtonTX/posts/all to give away or find secondhand products rather than put them on the curb to be hauled to trash mountain, our growing landfill.
Reward Others’ Positive actions
- If you see someone picking up trash, thank them with a “thumbs up” or a kind word. Better yet, follow their example.
- Patronize establishments with good plastic reduction practices; avoid those contributing to the problem. If possible, speak to the management or staff about your plastic pollution concerns.
- Compliment restaurant owners and staff who are concerned with plastic reduction and brag on their efforts on sites like Facebook, Nextdoor and Yelp. Tell them you will encourage friends to come to their restaurants.
- Explain the harm single use plastics have on our environment to family, friends, neighbors and anyone who will listen. Better yet, model the plastic reduction behaviors you want others to follow.
- Post pictures, articles, ideas, and innovative alternatives to plastic on social media sites.
- Be a good recycling role model to your relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Make plastic reduction a challenge game with those who enjoy playing games, e.g., kids.
- We have seen recently how youth are taking actions to protecting our planet from climate change. Let’s support their work and use their strategies to educate all generations on the necessity of protecting our planet from plastic.
- Learn from others on plastic issues, such as how best to store food in the refrigerator or freezer without using plastic containers or plastic bags.
- Become a citizen scientist by trying new products not made of plastic, for example, products for storing or wrapping food. Tell others about your experience with these new products.
- Sign up on websites to receive tips on ways you can use less plastic, e.g., The Story of Stuff Project at http://action.storyofstuff.org/signup/stop-plastic-pollution/
ACC’s Plastic Reduction Group welcomes your feedback. Email us at [email protected]
Candy Halliburton, Dick Schoech, Jane Oosterhuis, Joanne Stewart, Sarah Stephens, Corey Troiani.