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Compostable cups, bags, and cutlery were supposed to be the answer to single-use plastic products, but recent news reports say that instead, they are causing problems for recycling plants and also ending up in landfills where the conditions are not right for them to decompose. According to The Wall Street Journal and the Daily Caller, in order to decompose, compostables need high heat and moisture — they were actually intended to be sent to specially designed disposal sites, where they will break down properly and can add nutrients to the soil. According to the Daily Caller, “[w]hile a growing number of programs offer compostable disposal sites, a lack of proper labeling and public unawareness is resulting in many people simply throwing away their compostables in the trash, where they end up in landfills and fail to decompose,” or they end up in recycling plants where they contaminate the plastics being recycled.
Why This Matters: Single-use plastic and its waste products are pervasive and we know we need to get this problem under control. We cannot let this distressing news keep us from getting recycling and composting right in the U.S.! We need better infrastructure to deal with these problems and more public education to help people toss their trash in the right place. We all know the “system” now, such as it is, can be very confusing. Consumers, by and large, want to do the right thing. There are answers, we just need to find them, which will take government and the private sector working together.
The folks on Hilton Head Island have a great new way of “recycling” plastic beach toys — they have built a big bin on the beach at Islanders Beach Park where people can drop off beach toys they find and other families can borrow them and later either return them there or take them home. […]
Tomorrow, June 5th is #WorldEnvironmentDay and the theme this year is #GenerationRestoration to raise awareness about the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The events actually kick off officially at 9 a.m. ET this morning and there is programming throughout the day today and tomorrow — including a Virtual Launch Gala with inspiring messages from world […]
On Tuesday, Pope Francis launched an initiative to make Catholic institutions environmentally sustainable in seven years with the overarching goal of protecting the environment and the poor from climate change.
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