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Week 16: #Waves4Change 2020 Sustainability Challenge – Use Real Stuff!

Why Take This Challenge?

Single-use silverware, plates & cups typically dominate summer cookouts. As we know from other single-use plastics – these will more than likely end up in landfills or oceans. In fact, single-use silverware and plates are such an issue in marine pollution that the European Union confirmed a provisional agreement to restrict these types of plastics in 2021. Check out some more eye-opening statistics below:
• The United States goes through ~40 billion plastic utensils every year.
• In 2019, it was estimated that ~218 million Americans used disposable plates and cups.
• ~8 million tons of non-durable plastics end up in our oceans and lakes

How Does This Challenge Benefit Me?

While you are helping decrease our environmental impact on single-use plastics, you are also saving a few dollars every time you decide to not purchase single-use plastics.

What if I Already Do This?

Leading by example is the easiest way to get people to notice a change. If you are hosting a cookout or event, make a point to exclude plastic silverware and plates. Encourage friends and family to use the real stuff at cookouts or gatherings.

Prep This Weekend for a More Sustainable Week

If you are planning on small Memorial Day celebrations, skip the single-use cups, plates and silverware. If you plan on attending a gathering (while socially distancing!), remember to bring your own silverware. Yes, it may seem odd pulling a fork from your purse, but you are taking the first influential step!