The City of Boise is challenging citizens to give up certain single-use plastics for the month of July. The challenge specifically asks citizens to commit to giving up one or more of the following:
- Plastic bags
- Plastic straws
- Plastic take-out containers, cups and silverware
- All single-use plastics
- Talk with five businesses about how they are reducing plastics
In response to last year’s major shift in recycling markets, highlighted by China’s ban on importing plastics, Boise became the first city in the nation to launch the Hefty ® EnergyBag ® program citywide. While this program has given the city the ability to continue recovering a wide variety of plastics, it also cast a light on the amount and complexity of single-use plastics that Boise is consuming. As recycling markets continue to change, and the value of recycled materials continue to drop, Boise has the opportunity to shift attention to reducing the amount of plastic purchased and used.
The Boise Plastics Challenge is the first step in starting a conversation and growing awareness around single-use plastics. Shifting from a reactive role in recycling to a proactive role in reducing waste, Boise citizens and businesses can play a significant part in reducing the amount of material being used in our community. With the challenge, the city hopes to create a meaningful community-wide response to the problem of single-use plastic in Boise.
“Boisians are always eager for ways to reduce their impact on the Earth – that’s why our recycling programs are so popular,” said Mayor Dave Bieter. “This challenge is a great way to take our thinking about wasteful use of plastics to a new level and to limit their use on the front end, rather than after the fact. We must start thinking about reducing the amount of plastic we use before we worry about how to reuse and recycle them.”
One easy way to start reducing waste in July is to bring a reusable water bottle to any 4th of July celebrations. At the city’s 4th of July celebration at Ann Morrison Park, there will be two refillable water stations available so that residents can stay hydrated without the waste.
Citizens are encouraged to use #BoisePlasticsChallenge to share their stories, successes and challenges and to hear about local businesses that are taking steps to reduce plastic in the workplace.