Category Archives: Plastic

Sick of Plastic vigil

The video “West Chester Green Team’s Silent Vigil Against Plastic Use,” with a representative 3 minutes of speakers and views, is now available at YouTube, with the caption:

“On Feb. 14, 2020, members of WCGT and other local environmental groups gathered to silently and peacefully protest plastic usage. Photography/Editing/Production by Tristan Bruecks of West Chester Marketing Consultant Group (WESCON).”

Two stills from the video:

Silent Vigil: Plastic Fri, February 14, 2020

Silent Vigil: Plastic
Fri, February 14, 2020, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Historic Chester County Courthouse (corner of High and Market Streets)
West Chester, PA 19382

Sign up thru our EventBrite page so we can anticipate to the size of the group. Or use your camera to read the QR code next to the turtle below and sign up thru your smart phone.

Plastics vigil

Plastic bottles lying in the gutter. Grocery bags tangled in branches. Food wrappers scuttling across the ground on a windy day. Although such examples of litter easily come to mind, they only hint at the serious and growing problem of plastic pollution — a problem mostly hidden from view.

The West Chester Borough has signed a bill to ban single-use plastic bags and straws as of July 2, 2020. In practice, however, this will not become effective if we don’t show West Chester businesses that we are serious and want to make sure the ban is understood and followed up.

The silent vigil will be held at Historic Chester County Courthouse corner, where we can be seen and attract attention. This vigil is non-violent and as it’s a silent vigil we will not talk with the public about why we do this. To inform the public about the reason for this vigil, all of us will hold a large plastic detergent bottle and we will write a personal message about plastic on the bottle with a sharpie. We will also have small paper handouts with more details about why plastic is a problem.

You should be angry about what is happening to this earth and we want you to express your anger thru the clothes you wear. So join us and come to the Anti-Plastic vigil on Valentine’s Day and show your anger by wearing dark clothing and a hoodie.

Ban on Single Use Plastics, from West Chester Borough

From West Chester Borough’s web site, about its upcoming ban on single-use plastic bags and straws:

CleanGreenEvent

The West Chester Borough is taking steps to curb single-use plastic waste. In July 2019 Borough Council approved an ordinance banning single use plastic bags and straws in West Chester, effective July 2nd 2020.

Key Dates:

  • September 2018 – local students ask Council to address single use plastic bags and straws  
  • July 2019 – Ordinance written and public hearing held. Council votes to approve ordinance
  • July 2020 – Enforcement begins July 2nd

Click here to read West Chester’s Single Use Plastic ordinance.

What do business owners need to know?

  • As of July 2nd 2020 distribution of plastic bags and straws will be prohibited within the Borough
  • Any bag distributed to customers must include 40% recycled content and be recyclable in the Borough. This is considered a “compliant bag”
  • Businesses are required to charge 10 cents per compliant bag distributed to customers, and disclose this fee on the sales receipt
  • Any business may request a year-long exemption for review by the Borough’s Sustainability Advisory Committee
  • Businesses observed to be violating the ordinance will receive a written warning, then a $100, $200, and $500 fine for successive violations in a single 12-month period

Exemptions

Businesses may request a one-time, one year exemption from the Borough’s 2019 Single Use Plastic Ban for consideration by the Borough’s Sustainability Advisory Committee. Click here to submit an exemption.

Activist Workshop with PennEnvironment and West Chester Green Team

Important opportunity to network and be part of a training to benefit environmental activism:

Are you frustrated about the way things are, and you want more tools to DO something about it? Then our upcoming activist workshop is just for you! Penn Environment and the West Chester Green Team are teaming up to hold a training on how to put ideas into action to make the political changes you want to see.

We’ll be using the West Chester plastic bag ban as a case study, and taking action to pass state and local Zero Waste legislation.

When? Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6-8pm.
Where? West Chester University, Business & Public Management Building, Room 112, 50 Sharpless St., West Chester PA 19382.

RSVP today at bit.ly/activist101

We hope to see you there! Questions? efisher@pennenvironment.org

Single Use Plastics

from West Chester Borough Sustainability Advisory Committee

West Chester Borough is taking steps to curb single-use plastic waste. In July 2019 Borough Council approved an ordinance banning single use plastic bags and straws in West Chester, effective July 2nd 2020.

  • September 2018 – local students ask Council to address single use plastic bags and straws  
  • July 2019 – Ordinance written and public hearing held. Council votes to approve ordinance
  • July 2020 – Enforcement begins July 2nd

Click here to read West Chester’s Single Use Plastic ordinance.

What do businesses need to know? 

  • As of July 2nd 2020 distribution of plastic bags and straws will be prohibited within the Borough
  • Any bag distributed to customers must include 40% recycled content and be recyclable in the Borough. This is considered a “compliant bag”
  • Businesses are required to charge 10 cents per compliant bag distributed to customers, and disclose this fee on the sales receipt
  • Any business may request a year-long exemption for review by the Borough’s Sustainability Advisory Committee
  • Businesses observed to be violating the ordinance will receive a written warning, then a $100, $200, and $500 fine for successive violations in a single 12-month period.

Pottstown Is USA’s 1st City To Have Flexible Plastic Recycling

By Justin Heinze, West Chester Patch, Sep 30, 2019

Plastic bags, wraps, packaging, product packaging, and more, a significant part of modern waste, can be recycled in the innovative program
Pottstown Is USA's 1st City To Have Flexible Plastic Recycling

POTTSTOWN, PA — Pottstown has been chosen as the first municipality in all of North America to pilot an innovative recycling program that could drastically reduce waste heading to landfills.

The new program will allow residents to recycle flexible plastic packaging — things like plastic bags, wraps, pouches, product packaging, potato chip bags, and more.

Typically, these types of plastics comprise a significant and growing portion of waste that goes to landfills. Now, they’ll be used to produce a new end recycled product called “rFlex.”

The pilot is possible thanks to a partnership organized by Materials for the Future, an industry-sponsored research collaborative, which searched around the nation for an appropriate partner. …

Read more at West Chester Patch. West Chester voted last month to ban single-use plastic bags and straws effective July 2020, Narberth did so in October 2018, and Philadelphia is considering it.

Supermarket chain Stop & Shop removes single-use plastic bags from all Connecticut stores

This move to remove plastic bags from their stores comes a year before a Connecticut law will ban the bags state-wide.

The supermarket chain will start by providing free paper bags, then in September charging a 10-cent fee. Also, the store will run a program where customers can exchange one or more single-use plastic bags for a reusable bag.

And of course, Stop & Shop will offer a selection of reusable bags for purchase.

Rudy DiPietro, the senior vice president of operations at Stop & Sthop, commented – “We know that the environmental impact of plastics is something our customers and communities care about here in Connecticut, so we’re eliminating single-use plastic bags well ahead of the state-mandated timeline”.

To read the full article, published by Supermarket News, click here.

Why Plastic is bad


by Plastic-Free Please Action Group

1. Plastic does not go away. Only 9% of it is actually recycled (know your facts). Plastic cannot biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, which will end up in our food.

2. Plastic negatively affects our health. Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

3. Plastic spoils our groundwater. There are thousands of landfills in the United States. Buried beneath each one of them, toxic chemicals from plastics drain out and seep into groundwater, flowing downstream into lakes and rivers.

4. Plastic attracts other pollutants. Chemicals in plastic which give them their rigidity or flexibility (flame retardants, bisphenols, phthalates and other harmful chemicals) are oily poisons that repel water and stick to petroleum-based objects like plastic debris. So, the toxic chemicals that leach out of plastics can accumulate on other plastics. This is a serious concern with increasing amounts of plastic debris accumulating in the world’s oceans.

5. Plastic threatens wildlife. Wildlife become entangled in plastic, they eat it or mistake it for food and feed it to their young, and it is found littered in even extremely remote areas of the Earth. In our oceans alone, plastic debris outweighs zooplankton by a ratio of 36-to-1.

6. Plastic piles up in the environment. Americans discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year. Only 8% gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfills, is burned or becomes litter.

7. Plastic poisons our food chain. Even plankton, the tiniest creatures in our oceans, are eating microplastics and absorbing their hazardous chemicals. The tiny, broken-down pieces of plastic are displacing the algae needed to sustain larger sea life that feed on them.

8. Plastic costs billions to abate. Everything suffers: tourism, recreation, business, the health of humans, animals, fish and birds—because of plastic pollution. The financial damage continuously being inflicted is inestimable.

 

West Chester stands up to the state by passing a single-use plastic bag and straw ban

In late June, PA Governor Wolf signed a state budget to which the General Assembly added an amendment that blocks municipalities from passing plastic bans. But West Chester became the first municipality to stand up against this legislation by passing a ban anyway — because the plastic crisis can’t wait any longer.

From “West Chester Passes Ban of Single-Use Plastic Bags and Straws,” by Justin Heinze, West Chester Patch, 7/19/10:

WEST CHESTER, PA — Before a packed crowd at borough hall Wednesday night, West Chester made history, voting to become the latest Pennsylvania municipality to pass a ban on single-use plastic bags and straws. It comes as local governments spar with the conservative state legislature that has sought to make such ordinances illegal.

West Chester’s borough council voted 4-3 to approve the ordinance. The vote comes less than a year after nearby Narberth became the first municipality in all of Pennsylvania to pass a similar measure. And it passed despite concerns expressed by council members early in the meeting that the measure defied state law.

“It is incumbent upon council to resist and if you’re going to resist, resist completely,” State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) told the gathering. “This is a clear overreach of local control.” …

Photo from Rep. Danielle Friel Otten on Instagram.

And the crowd cheers from West Chester’s Plastics Bag Ban instigators for West Chester Friends School and Youth Uprising.

Please read the full article HERE at Patch.com.