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How Cities Can Better Curb Plastic Waste

At Enviro Care, our waste management, transportation and disposal services help numerous public safety agencies and other groups operate safely, economically and in compliance with environmental laws. We’re proud to help many large bodies around the state become greener and more conscious of the environment through our various hazardous waste services.

We can’t go it alone, though, and our services are only so helpful if the cities we serve are mindful of various waste areas and proactive about how to handle them. One particular area here is plastic waste, which is a massive concern for many cities – according to the Ellen & MacArthur Foundation, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by the year 2050 if more is not done to curb this issue. With this in mind, here are five strategies cities can employ to get a better handle on plastic waste:

Manufacturing Recycling

Plastic waste can be recycled, and these processes are being infused into manufacturing areas across the country. Recycled plastic can be used for everything from cement filler to household goods, and it can even be used by large-scale clothing and furniture manufacturers. These kinds of programs also incentivize the overall population to collect plastic and recycle it.

Better Systems

Following the lead of several other countries, the US is slowly moving toward more sustainable and efficient waste disposal infrastructure systems. Within cities, practices like splitting up areas by zone to make good use of shared resources are becoming more prevalent. This general overall infrastructure is the backbone of these efforts, so if things are modernized and streamlined here, more detailed areas will likely follow.

Community Campaigns

In many cases, the initiative that moves a given city toward better plastic waste management comes from the household and individual levels. Environmental groups and advocates are vital for spreading basic information and motivation to citizens, who may not fully understand the effect these areas have on them. Communities and schools create projects to collect plastic bottles and other plastic items, then selling them to a recycler to raise funds for similar environmental efforts – a double-whammy that both cuts down on litter and raises money for a good cause.

Planning and Policy Concerns

From a policy perspective, plastic waste management can be done in waves. After much of the above has been completed and better infrastructure is in place for collection and disposal of these wastes, cities can move to more focused areas like banning certain plastic types and creating incentives to comply with these bans. It’s important that these policies are only enacted once a strong baseline has been established from an infrastructure standpoint – failure here can lead to additional littering when the proper disposal systems aren’t available to citizens.

For more on how cities can help curb plastic waste, or to learn about any of our waste collection or disposal services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.