A recent National Geographic article had a great quote:
"If plastic had been invented when the Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth, England, to North America—and the Mayflower had been stocked with bottled water and plastic-wrapped snacks—their plastic trash would likely still be around, four centuries later."
There are numerous articles and videos throughout the news and web talking about the problem with plastic pollution. When you peruse many of the articles they like to focus in on one item such as straws or glitter. When we narrow our focus too much, we can no longer see the forest for the trees. If you focus on straws. then it makes people forget about the plastic bottle they just picked up, or the tub their guacamole was purchased in. We need to look at everything we do, not just pat ourselves on the back for saying no to a straw. Can we use less plastic? Can the plastic we use get recycled? Unfortunately, looking at the recycling symbol on the back is not enough. We actually have to know if these items can be recycled locally, which is only true if there is a market for them. You can find out more about this at the Butler County Recycling and Solid Waste District's website www.butlercountyrecycles.org.
Many articles show that there are 10 major rivers in the world where most of the plastic is flowing from.Even though a lot of plastic is pouring out of rivers in Asia and Africa doesn't mean we can forget the rivers in our own back yard. Each year our office, along with hundreds of volunteers, collects trash along the Great Miami River and it's tributaries here in Butler County. Not only do we find a hideous amount of trash, it is typically too contaminated with sediment to be able to recycle. It is great that you can #trashtag and post cleanup efforts on sites like Litterati. It makes it that more personal seeing the problems right here in our community and seeing the difference that you can make if you take action.
If you would like to take action locally, join us on Make a Difference Day, Sat, Oct 26 from 9 am - 12 noon for the Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River. There are many different locations to choose from. Please see our cleanup site for more details www.cleansweepofthegreatmiamiriver.org