Waste reduction efforts are focused on education about reducing single use plastics (bags, straws, caps, cups, utensils, bottles, etc.) and materials that can’t be recycled and end up in our environment.
Plastic Free Salish Sea
It is better to assume that plastics may not be recycled when you purchase it until you have looked into this a bit first. Far less than 10% of all consumer packaging plastic has ever truly been recycled (more info see: Greenpeace Report Circular Claims Fall Flat). To reduce waste and ensure recycling happens, please consider following the two steps below:
1. Look and inquire for alternative (non-plastic) packaging when you make purchases.
2. If you cannot find an alternative at this time, please ensure it is in a bottle or jug AND that it is a #1 or #2 recycling code printed on the container. These #1 and #2 bottles/jugs can be recycled by your recycling services provider/waste station. However, plastics of other shapes such as caps, lids, clamshells, microwavable dishes, etc., even if #1 or 2 plastics, should be assumed to be trash after their use. They pose a contamination risk to our recycling system. If you cannot reuse them, please do not waste time and water to wash these items - just put them in the trash and next time ask your retailer for alternatives.
Even during the COVID19 pandemic, you can do your part in reducing plastic and waste. The Washington State Bag Ban was passed in 2020 and will take effect later this year in 2021 (for more information see: Washington's single-use plastic bag ban). Retailers will be required to place and 8 cent bag charge on your receipt if you do not bring in your own bag or if you cannot carry out your items without a bag and require one of the retailers (the exception would be using a basket or cart to move purchases to your vehicle). Please plan ahead and try to make a habit of bringing your own reusable bag with you to the store (just like car keys or wallet)! It just makes cents.
Check out these tips for still bringing your own bag, while respecting health orders: