P3 = The Plastic Pollution Project

Welcome to Westport's Plastic Pollution Project

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photo: Paul Kennedy/ Getty Images

BREAKING NEWS!!! WESTPORT PASSES GROUND-BREAKING SINGLE-USE PLASTICS BAN!!

On MAY 7, 2019 Westport's RTM unanimously approved one of the most comprehensive single-use plastics bans in the country!   Drafted by P3's own Andrew Colabella with the great help of fellow P3-founder (and RTM member) Wendy Batteau, this ground-breaking piece of local legislation rode a wave of support from all across town -- including many school-children who spoke eloquently (and emotionally) at the meeting about the need for this type of legislation.   11 years after Westport became the first town east of the Mississippi to ban plastic bags, we're thrilled that Westport is again taking meaningful leadership on such an important environmental problem.   P3 looks forward to playing an important role in support of the town's efforts by educating our community about alternatives to single-use plastics and helping push us further toward a "zero waste" Westport and a sustainable & healthy future for the generations to come!!  Check it on the news 12 here:  http://www.news12.com/clip/14818701/westport-votes-to-ban-plastic-straws-styrofoam-cups-at-restaurants

THE PROBLEM OF SINGLE-USE-PLASTICS...

“Single-Use-Plastics” include Plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers & lids, water & soda bottles, “to-go” boxes, most food packaging— and all plastic products designed primarily for single-usage.   In the case of straws alone, it is estimated that Americans use 500 MILLION PLASTIC STRAWS EVERY DAY!   And because plastic straws are generally un-recyclable and virtually never biodegrade, they instead wreak permanent havoc on our environment.  Even with more readily recyclable plastics, only about 9% are ever successfully recycled.  We may actually “litter” more plastic than we recycle— and all that remaining plastic debris (roughly 79%) ends up contaminating our municipal waste-stream.  Most of it clogs up landfills, eventually sloughing off into the world’s great pollution sink, the oceans, where it eventually breaks-down into “micro-plastics” that sicken and kill marine life and contaminate our food chain.  Even in communities like Westport where our general waste is incinerated, the resulting “ash” waste remains some 10 to 17% of the original bulk-waste—  but is now a highly toxic concentrate that must be carefully contained in special landfills.  Any mishandling or accidents with this waste (or its exhaust) puts people and wildlife in grave danger.   As the saying goes, a pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  So while improving our “recycling” and “reuse” efforts remains vitally important, it is the “REDUCTION” of our plastic waste that demands urgent action.   Waiting for our industry and federal legislators to solve this problem has proved foolhardy.   We must take meaningful action LOCALLY right now.   And the good news is— we CAN!  Supporting & promoting that action here in Westport and our surrounding communities is P3’s purpose and guiding mission.  Please help us stop Plastic Pollution right here at home!

  • HEALTH EFFECTS -- One of the reasons we humans have been dangerously slow to change our habits concerning plastic waste may well be the common misperception that plastic pollution is primarily an "aesthetic" problem.  We all agree it looks awful-- but too few of us are aware of the more grave effects of plastic pollution.
    • TOXIC COMPONENTS --  Plastics breakdown into highly toxic components that lurk indefinitely in our environment.  These include BPA and phthalates, lead, mercury, cadmium, dioxins and myriad other dangerous components that have dire effects on human reproduction, development, and the immune system. They can also disrupt hormones and cause cancer.
  • CLIMATE CHANGE -- Wait, what does plastic have to do with climate change?  Well, as it turns out, a lot:
    • MOST PLASTIC IS MADE OF...   An estimated 8% of global OIL PRODUCTION goes into the manufacture of plastic.  The EPA estimates as many as five ounces of carbon dioxide are emitted for each ounce of polyethylene produced (ex. beverage bottles).
    • MORE PLASTIC THAN FISH -- As a recent report from the World Economic Forum warns, unless we dramatically reduce our plastic waste, plastic in our oceans will outweigh marine life by 2050.  This kind of pollution would render a collapse of marine ecosystems which, in addition to the obvious effects on our food-chain, would gravely affect the ocean's important carbon-storing abilities.   And of course all that debris in the water absorbs heat, further warming the ocean.
  • RECYCLING ISN'T ENOUGH:  While improving our recycling efforts and systems is a vital part of the solution, for many reasons recycling is very inefficient-- and only a small portion of plastic waste is ever successfully recycled!
    • REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE:  While the three R's are all vitally important, the clear solution to plastic pollution lies in REDUCING our plastic consumption.  And this starts with single-use plastics.

TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC WASTE:

1 REFUSE PLASTIC STRAWS!  

2 REFUSE PLASTIC BAGS (including PRODUCE bags):  Keep re-useable bags in your car.

3 REFUSE PLASTIC UTENSILS  Travel with your own utensils and containers for take-out & left-overs.

4 CARRY A RE-USEABLE BOTTLE or MUG   Avoid to-go coffee cups & bottled water!

5      PACK LUNCH IN RE-USEABLE CONTAINERS  and avoid juice-boxes with disposable straws!

6 BUY BOXED PRODUCTS  ex.—use bar-soap instead of soft-soaps that are packaged in plastic dispensers.

7 AVOID MOST FROZEN FOODS  Their packaging is mostly plastic.  Plus you'll be eating fewer processed foods! 

8      BUY CLOTHES WITH NATURAL FIBERS   Acrylics & polyester are plastic.  When washed, they shed MILLIONS of micro-plastic fibers into our waste-water

9 BUY FOOD FROM BULK BINS  Cereal, pasta, rice, nuts, etc.

10    QUIT SMOKING   Cigarette filters are plastic and a major plastic-pollution problem

11    DON’T CHEW GUM   It’s made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic. (Some plastic-free choices now on market).

12    USE MATCHES or REFILLABLE LIGHTER   instead of disposable plastic lighters. 

13    ASK GROCER TO TAKE BACK PLASTIC CONTAINERS   for berries, tomatoes, etc.

14    USE CLOTH DIAPERS  7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year!

15    MAKE YOUR OWN JUICE or EAT FRUIT  instead of buying in plastic bottles.

16   USE RAZOR WITH REPLACEABLE BLADES


       TAKE AN INVENTORY OF ALL THE PLASTIC PRODUCTS IN YOUR HOUSE — AND THE PACKAGING THEY CAME IN —AND THINK OF ALTERNATIVES!


HELP US STOP PLASTIC POLLUTION!

P3 is pleased to have EARTHPLACE, the Nature Discovery & Environmental Learning Center in Westport, CT as its fiscal sponsor.  Earthplace is a 501(c)(3) public charity which affords P3 the ability to receive fully tax-deductible donations.  If you'd like to donate to help us combat plastic pollution in our community you can make a donation by credit card right now (link button below)-- or you can mail checks payable to:

"EARTHPLACE, INC." and be sure to write "for P3 Grant" in memo line.  

Mail to: "P3", 606 Post Rd East, #481, Westport, CT 06880.

  *Include your return address or email to receive tax-deduction confirmation letter.   Any amount helps!

Thank you!

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