Plastic Free July is a movement that started in Australia by the Plastic Free Foundation in 2011 but has quickly grown all around the world. During the month, citizens, employers and big companies worldwide try to commit to using no plastic, or doing what they can to reuse and recycle the plastic that they need to use. Here are three projects taking place in the United States that make a statement during the month.
- Pennsylvania: Lancaster County’s Waste-to-Energy Facility is turning 30 years of converting trash into usable electricity, saving landfill space and reducing related greenhouse gas emissions. According to authority officials, 10.7 million tons of trash has been combusted at the facility.
- Colorado: Governor Jared Polis signed a new Colorado law earlier this month called the Plastic Pollution Reduction Law to ban plastic bags and foam. Starting 2024, stores in the state can no longer give out either single-use plastic bags or foam containers such as for coffee and other food products. It is estimated that 1.2 million foam cups and 4.6 million plastic bags are distributed daily in Colorado alone.
- Georgia: Brightmark, whose mission is to reimagine waste and deliver a brighter future, has stated a big promise to build the nation’s largest plastic waste processing plant using pyrolysis. The resulting oil will be further refined on site into 20 million gallons of wax and 64 million gallons of low-sulfur diesel fuel and naptha, according to the company.