Zero Waste in our own community is only one piece in a big puzzle. Did you know:
30%+ of food waste has happened before the food reaches consumers (Food and Agriculture Organization of UN)
40% of the used clothes imported into Ghana, 50 tons per day, end up in landfill sites (Daily Mail)
The burden of Zero Waste should start from producers taking the financial responsibility for the lifecycle cost of the product.
Below we assembled initiatives and bills that you can support and raise your voice for:
Be informed and advocate for legislative and systemic changes:
Tell Town Leaders that you want them to advocate for strong EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) legislation, improved recycling markets and to implement town-wide curbside composting.
Support local efforts to reduce plastic usage (bag bans, straw/styrofoam bans), report non-compliance
Ask Town/Schools/Employers to divest from fossil-fuel companies
Ask schools to move to reusables in all cafeterias (See link to researches on the benefits)
A. Tell your State representatives that you support EPR and Expanded Bottle Bill:
MA H. 750 EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) legislation: Producers of plastic have to pay for it to be disposed/recycled properly. Bill reported favorably by Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture committee and referred to the committee on House Ways and Means.
Updating the Bottle Bill, deposit on all drink bottles, including water bottles, and increase the deposit value to improve redemption rate
Divestment from fossil-fuel companies
B. Tell MA DEP that you want improved recycling markets and strong EPR policies:
MassDEP has scheduled four more online public hearings on the Draft 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan and will accept additional public comment through September 15, 2020. The re-opened public comment period will focus specifically, but not exclusively, on issues of environmental justice, climate change, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as they relate to solid waste management in Massachusetts.
Go here for more information.
1. Support: Break Free from Plastic: H.R.5845 - Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 (also called S. 3263 )
This bill sets forth requirements related to waste and recycling collection systems for a variety of products and materials, including plastics.
The bill makes certain producers of products (e.g., packaging, paper, single-use products, beverage containers, or food service products) fiscally responsible for collecting, managing, and recycling or composting the products after consumer use. In addition, the bill establishes (1) minimum percentages of products that must be reused, recycled, or composted; and (2) an increasing percentage of recycled content that must be contained in beverage containers.