Working to Be Plastic Free!
As a lightweight, inexpensive, and durable material which can be utilized in a wide range of applications, plastic is ubiquitous. The United States leads the world as the largest generator of plastic packaging waste on a per-capita basis. Despite its usefulness, scientists have raised concerns that plastic waste could lead to damaging environmental and health impacts. The production and incineration of plastic is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Plastics in landfills take up to a thousand years to decompose, and their amount has increased approximately 70-fold from 1960 to 2018. When this waste makes its way into water sources, it can impact marine life, and it can also degrade into microplastics, which make their way into our food and drinking water. While many open questions remain, some evidence suggests that these microplastics may harm human health. And for many, the precautionary principle suggests the need to limit plastic waste given its ability to infiltrate human and animal food chains.
Retail, food service, and other local businesses are all contributors to the plastic pollution that ends up in our communities, on our streets, and in our waterways. By signing this pledge, you and your establishment commit to working with the MountainTrue Recycling Team and the Hendersonville Environmental Sustainability Board to take meaningful steps toward being a sustainable business, protecting your community, wildlife, and watershed and becoming leaders in the local business community.
Why Sign This Pledge?
MountainTrue is beginning to do microplastics monitoring throughout WNC river basins, including Mud Creek in Hendersonville. So far, microplastics have been present in 100% of samples collected. Microplastics impact wildlife cumulatively; smaller organisms are attracted to the bright colors as a potential source of food, and the particles work their way up the food chain, threatening eagles, otters, and even humans through freshwater and saltwater shellfish and seafood. Microplastics have also been found in the water we drink and the air we breathe.
By taking this step to voluntarily phase out single-use plastics from your business, we can show our local and state leaders that the challenge to protect ourselves and our environment from microplastic pollution is one worth fighting, and is not a barrier to economic growth.