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What Do Plastic, Beaches and Art Have in Common?

We’ve all been to the beach and likely seen litter and plastic pieces strewn about. Hopefully most of the pieces and tossed in the recycling bin. Sadly, a lot of plastic in our oceans. The Algalita Foundation, which monitors ocean pollution, estimates that 80% of marine debris comes from humans on land. Of that, 65% comes from consumer used plastics that have been disposed of improperly. Even if you live inland, plastics can make their way to the ocean and into our local waterways. Not all of it is captured before it races out to sea. Once at sea, it can travel hundreds upon hundreds of miles and float around for decades on end.


Some of this plastic returns to shore, but much of it swirls around in what some call the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, which is an area in the North Pacific’s Subtropical Gyre. Essentially this vast area is a plastic soup vortex where debris gets caught and doesn’t leave. That’s a lot of plastic, which can harm and kill aquatic life when they confuse the pieces for food.  Let’s not also ignore that the plastic that makes its way to the shore is a very nasty sight for us beach goers.


In an effort to educate the public about the problem, as well as to visualize how much plastic is actually out there, artists Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang of Northern California have been making art with the plastic they find on their local beach for the past thirty years. While inspiring, their work is also striking in its ability to convey plastic’s real impact on our planet.


Check out Richard and Judith’s work and hear why they continue to produce art with the plastics they collect in the video below.

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Remember Your Reusable Bag!

You’ll read the word “reuse” often on our Zero Waste Communities blog because we believe that reusing products is a great way to reduce unwanted waste. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can cut down on the stuff you throw in your garbage or recycling bin every week.alt
One item that we commonly see filling up trash bins in our area, not to mention flying around our streets, is the single-use plastic bag. Here at Zero Waste, it is our goal to make plastic bags a thing of the past.
As such, we're very proud to announce the launch of a new Reusable Bag Campaign that will reach a community near you! This campaign is a pilot program with concentrated efforts in the cities of Loma Linda, Rialto and Victorville. Zero Waste will be reminding residents to get in the habit of using reusable bags. We are currently teaming up with eco-conscious grocery stores in our area, including Albertson’s in Victorville, Clark’s Nutrition in Loma Linda and Fresh & Easy in Rialto.
In January, Zero Waste kicked off the program by meeting with our grocery store partners to introduce them to our campaign. Our grocery allies will help us remind customers to remember their reusable bags and applaud those who use them.
In our research on reusable bags we discovered a couple of obstacles that can be easily overcome. The first big issue is forgetting to bring your reusable bag with you to when you leave home. (We’ve all done it!) The second hurdle is remembering not to leave them in your vehicle when you park. (Hmm, done that one too!) Good news though, we'll also be posting reminder signs in the parking lots of our partnering stores to help jog people's memories.
Plus, reusable bags are just cool. As we’ve mentioned before, plastics are big polluters, so it’s the eco-friendly thing to do. Here’s a local video on why you should consider joining the reusable bag bandwagon and by kicking the plastic habit! and kick that plastic bag habit good-bye!

What are some of the ways you remember to bring your reusable totes?

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