Reduce and Reuse Before You Recycle: Delivering Ourselves from Over-Packaging

Date: 14 Feb 2018 | posted in: waste - zero waste, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Climate Lab at the University of California at Berkeley, alongside the media organization Vox, produced a helpful video on the dangers of over packaging and how to reduce single-use waste. The video includes information and a guide to reducing one way take-out food packaging, water bottles and more.

You can stream and watch the 7 minute video, below. You will learn about simple steps that institutions and businesses can take for dramatic and cost effective results; and common sense.

Here’s a preview from the article the video came from:

In many cases, not only are these services delivering food, they’re delivering lots of extra stuff: bags, boxes, wrapping, napkins, utensils, packs of condiments, colorful branded bits and bobs. Takeout can come with handfuls of ketchup or soy sauce packets, thick wads of napkins. Do you need all of that stuff? No one stops to ask — it just comes, and you get to deal with it.

Our problem with packaging and single-use items goes beyond the desire for an easy dinner. Packaging accounts for nearly 30 percent of all waste generated across the country according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and this doesn’t include other single-use items like disposable plates and utensils, diapers, junk mail, and paper towels. It piles up in our landfills, while manufacturing, shipping, and disposing of all of this stuff — often used for mere seconds — creates big greenhouse gas emissions.

Underneath the video are a series of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s resources related to source waste reduction, explore them for more information!

Resources from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance:

Photo Credit: Featured image courtesy of djedj via Pixabay (CC0 Creative Commons).

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Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.