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Zero Waste

Blog
Should You Ditch Your Reusable Bags? No.
by John Hite

The plastic industry has been trying to take advantage of the pandemic to maximize profits. But fueling fear during a public health crisis is outrageous and must be called out. To truly protect public health and the environment long-term, we need full-scale reuse systems.

Blog
Connecticut’s Bottle Bill is Back After Services Were Reduced
by Kevin Budris

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing concerns caused many New England states with bottle return programs to temporarily stop enforcing collection requirements at grocery stores, supermarkets, and liquor shops. Connecticut was among the states pressing pause on bottle bill enforcement. But as of May 20, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has reinstated bottle collection requirements at these retail sites.

News Clips
Environmentalists Call For Resumption Of Bottle Returns, Reusable Shopping Bags

“Now, we should be able to, number one, get back to business as usual and redeem those bottles and cans that people have stacked in their basements and in their garages,” said Kirstie Pecci of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Zero Waste Program. “And then, number two, we know that it’s time to stop using single-use plastic. It’s not protecting us from the virus.”

Press Releases
CLF and Partners Urge MA Officials to Lift Ban on Reusable Bags

“Public health must always be the primary concern,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of the Zero Waste Project at CLF. “However, the scientific community has made it clear that the risk of transmitting the virus by touching a bag or bottle is almost nonexistent. Allowing reusable bags and resuming bottle deposits will keep tons of plastic out of landfills or incinerators and stop it from further polluting our land and air.”

Blog
Waste Industry Exploits Pandemic as Cover for Rollbacks
by Jen Duggan

Under cover of the pandemic, the waste industry is trying to demolish critical environmental protections. In April, the waste industry and Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation asked the legislature to delay Vermont’s food scrap ban and trash recyclables, all under the guise of protecting the health of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But they appear to be part of a push from waste industry groups to use the crisis to advance their own agenda in several New England states.

News Clips
Correcting misinformation on Connecticut’s Bottle Bill during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 presents a challenge unlike any most of us have ever seen. When we emerge from this public health emergency, we will need to rely on clean, safe systems for reuse and recycling that will help preserve budgets that have been stretched thin and keep communities clean and safe. The bottle bill is a key part of this, regardless of the misrepresentations touted by opponents.

Blog
UPDATE: Developer Withdraws Application for Rhode Island Garbage Depot
by Kevin Budris

Last month, we helped raise the alarm about a dangerous proposal for a garbage depot near Washington Park and South Providence neighborhoods. The garbage depot – and the dust, odor, traffic, and water pollution that would come with it – would have forced more pollution on communities already overburdened by other nearby industrial facilities. The reckless proposal spurred weeks of community action and resulted in an unqualified victory for residents.

Press Releases
Proposal for Providence “Garbage Depot” Withdrawn

“The decision to scrap plans for this garbage depot is an unqualified win for the neighborhood,” said Kevin Budris, staff attorney at CLF Rhode Island. “The community was loud and clear in opposing the toxic exhaust and dust this dirty facility would produce. We need to put our efforts into reducing waste, rather than forcing our communities to deal with pollution from trash that they did not create.”