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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Monrovia Weekly / Monrovia Old Town report: ‘Plastic Free July’

Monrovia Old Town report: ‘Plastic Free July’

by Guest Contributor
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By Shawn Spencer

Did you know there was such a thing as “Plastic Free July?” I had no idea. That is until I ready our City Manager’s Report.

Dylan Feik is quite an asset to this town! According to his report, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled. Most of the plastic waste is generated by packaging (40%), consumer goods (12%) and clothing & textiles (11%). I have basically already failed this challenge. Since I am so late to the party, I’ll commit to extending the challenge through August. 

There are a few easy ways to get started. Start bringing a reusable coffee cup when you visit one of our many coffee shops. Bring your own reusable bags for grocery shopping. Avoid purchasing pre-packaged foods. One of the easiest ways to reduce plastic use is to abstain from buying those handy water bottles. Don’t we all have a drawer or shopping bag filled with different reusable, planet-friendly water bottles? 

The oh-so-popular Hydro Flask or the Yeti or all those adorably colored Starbucks trental-sized reusable cups with lid and straw. Helpful hints from Shawn: did you know a Starbucks trenta cup holds an entire bottle of wine? We can play a drinking game! Take a sip every time I use the work reusable in this article. For the record, I’m joking. I do not recommend misuse of alcohol including excessive consumption, binge-drinking, drinking, boating, and/or underage drinking. 

If you visit plasticfreejuly.org, you’ll find a slew of info on how to be a more responsible tenant of earth. Don’t buy balloons. That’s a tough one, because who doesn’t love balloons. That is a ton of plastic for a few hours of a party. Plus, popped or uninflated balloons are a huge choking hazard for children. 

There is even a section on alternative choices for feminine sanitary products. I didn’t read that section though. I’m not ready for that level of commitment.  Amazon has a ton of cute storage alternatives for those items you can buy in bulk, like oats, rice, flour, sugar, etc. (we can discuss ways to recycle Amazon packaging later).

What about at work? Are y’all recycling your e-waste properly? The City of Monrovia offers FREE e-waste disposal at the Public Works yard at 600 S. Mountain Ave. Items approved for disposal are batteries, cell phones, computers, copiers, DVD players, fax machines, fluorescent light bulbs, hard drives, microwaves, monitors, stereos, TVs and VCRs. Check the city website for disposal locations for things like paints and chemicals.

We can all do a better job. You can’t rationalize using paper plates because there is a drought. I’m a straw lover… I drink my coffee that way. It is so easy to use biodegradable straws now. Not the paper ones; those are garbage (lol no pun intended). They make some now out of agave fibers, which work really well and are made from the same plant as your favorite tequila. 

A good idea is to do an audit on your plastics usage. Whip out your favorite plastic pen and jot down all the plastics you and your family or co-workers use on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. What can you replace? What can you reuse? How can you leave this planet a little less abused?

We are all so conditioned to use what we are sold at the supermarket. “Easy” marketing and packaging are taking their toll on our world. Bans on single-use plastics exist in over 120 countries, including the US.  Join the millions of people that are trying to make a difference.

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