Ways You Can Help Save The Planet

Best to remember: “Use it up, wear it out, make due or do without”

Think before you act: REFUSE and REUSE

Here are a few actions you can take to reduce plastic in our environment:

  1. ADVOCATE for sane plastics legislation – this is critical for change; probably the most important efforts you can take.
    1. Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act by Calling your Congressman! After years of effort this is STILL in the introductory stage of legislation, so urgently needs your voice.
    2. Sign petitions on the Beyond plastic – Maryland PIRG website. They have multiple petitions that go directly to your local, state and national elected officials. We know that numbers of people responding make a difference.
    3. U.S. State EPR Laws – Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)  Since 2000, PSI has helped enact 130 extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws across 16 product categories in 33 states.  Maine is the first state to pass an EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) law. We could try and be one of the next states to make history.
  2. Commit to REUSABLES by choosing 3-10 things on this Reusables List YOU can do now.
  3. REFUSE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS – especially bottles and bags

If you want to better understand this devastating issue:

Waste Land: Why Have We All Been Recycling Plastic For 30 Years? : Planet Money : NPR

Plastics Team

Plastic waste disposal in the US in 2008 was 86% (29.2 million tons) landfilled, 8% (2.7 million tons) incinerated and 6% (2 million tons) recycled.  Only 9% of all plastic ever discarded in the US since 1950 has been recycled.  Although recycling plastics is increasing around the world, the rates vary by country.

Japan is by far the most successful with nearly 80% of its plastic waste recycled every year, while the U.S. recycles just 9%.  Plastic bag bans are spreading in the US.

As part of the UUCC Climate Crisis Team, we have formed the Plastics sub-team.  If you would like to participate, please contact Robin Hessey,

Single-Use Plastics 101

Here’s everything you need to know about the most ubiquitous (and avoidable) kind of plastic waste: the kind made to be tossed in mere minutes.

Recent Changes in Howard County Recycling Guidelines

Howard County recently updated its list of recyclable items to exclude many items that were previously recyclable.  You might be surprised what is no longer recyclable, but keep in mind that keeping loads “clean” increases the probability that they will be actually recycled instead of put in a landfill.


Resources and Information