Larry Slotnick, cochair of the Arlington Zero Waste Committee, submitted this opinion supporting Article 12 (single-use plastic containers) at City Assembly.
When is sufficient, sufficient?
When solely 9 p.c of our blue-bin recycled plastic is definitely made into new plastic merchandise, and the remaining is incinerated or land-filled?
When the marine meals chain has change into so contaminated with microplastics that researchers have discovered traces of plastic in human lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys? Arlington’s Zero Waste Committee is proposing we make a dent in the issue by regulating the sale of bottled water in Arlington in Article 12.
Single-use plastic containers, whereas handy and ridiculously low-cost, are behind this out-of-control development in poisonous plastic air pollution. They even give the phrase “disposable” a nasty identify, as a result of, fairly merely, plastics are FOREVER. Plastics could be burned and they are often buried. However they don’t decompose. They’re the stable waste equal of burning gasoline oil, gasoline and pure fuel.
Having surveyed the eight largest retailers promoting bottled water in Arlington, and specializing in smaller containers of noncarbonated water bought in 24-count circumstances, the Zero Waste Committee has concluded that near 750,000 12-ounce bottles of water are bought annually in Arlington. As these bottles are sometimes consumed away from the house, and lack a Bottle Invoice deposit payment, they sometimes discover their option to a blue bin. Their estimated price of recycling is 15%. This compares to a 75-percent price for bottles with a deposit.
Zero Waste Committee members have met with shut to twenty of the estimated 35 small retailers (take-out eating places/cafes and grocery/comfort shops) that may be impacted by the proposed bylaw. Many argued for improved recycling infrastructure with an expanded Bottle Invoice. They’d endure a lack of income if the article turns into a bylaw. However the article excludes each carbonated and flavored water.
‘Arlington on Faucet’
The committee additionally seeks to handle residents’ considerations about lack of public consuming fountains and stations for refilling a reusable water bottle. We’re proposing a marketing campaign referred to as “Arlington on Faucet,” which is not going to solely brag in regards to the purity and taste of Arlington’s faucet water, but in addition name for a townwide effort to create many extra public consuming water stations alongside the Mass. Ave. and Minuteman Bikeway corridors, to not point out restoring amenities in gathering locations resembling parks, taking part in fields and playgrounds.
With assist from the Arlington Choose Board and the Well being Division, and native teams — resembling Sustainable Arlington, Mystic River Watershed Affiliation, Moms Out Entrance and Mates of Spy Pond Park — the Zero Waste Committee seeks to start our neighborhood’s “sea change” away from single-use plastics and towards a better consciousness of the plastic air pollution disaster that we will’t recycle our manner out of.
Please contact your precinct’s City Assembly members right here and voice your assist for the passage of Article 12. A small ripple in Arlington can result in a tidal wave of consciousness and motion.
This letter was revealed Thursday, April 14, 2022.