The Allen County Department of Environmental Management (ACDEM) has chosen Earth Day, April 22, 2019 to launch a continuation of a single-use plastic awareness campaign that builds on their “No straw, please” promotion of 2018.
Plastic utensils are the items ACDEM has chosen to focus on this year because they make up a large amount of easily preventable plastic pollution. Fork, spoon, knife, or spork; they can’t be recycled, never fully decompose and Americans use about 40 billion of them every year.
Evidence is mounting that the chemical that make up plastics might harm people and the environment. Plastic production and disposal contribute to an array of environmental problems, too. Plastics are in our public and natural areas in large quantities, even in the most remote places. Fifty percent of plastic is used for only moments before it is discarded.
There are many ways to reduce your use of plastic altogether, especially single-use plastic, every day. BYO (bring your own): bags to the grocery, travel mug to the coffee shop, water bottle to refill, reusable straw. Also consider bringing your own utensil for situations when you would normally be offered a disposable one.
Allen County residents are becoming more aware of the dangers single-use plastics can pose to the environment and wildlife. Last year ACDEM, along with many other national and global organizations, asked that individuals and businesses stop using disposable plastic straws. Many have seen images online and in person of straws that become litter and harm animals, which has inspired local action to reduce single-use plastic. Plastic utensils have the same potential for harm to our health and local wildlife and can easily be replaced with reusable ones when people BYO – bring your own utensils.
Allen County residents can watch and share ACDEM’s latest PSA about BYO Utensils that encourages residents to ditch single-use plastic utensils and bring reusable ones wherever they go.