The City of Tampa Joins the Reduce Your Use Campaign Effort
The Reduce Your Use campaign, aims to increase the quality of recycling material collected and decrease the number of single-use plastics. The majority of single-use plastics, designed for convenience of one use and quick disposal, cannot be processed for recycling through curbside recycling due to their small size and lower quality. Residents who may be unaware of this, place them in the recycling bin and end up contaminating the recycling. In other cases, single use plastics end up as litter causing great detriment to our environment. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, plastic makes up almost 90 percent of the trash found in the oceans; of this plastic, 40 percent was used only once and then disposed.
The City of Tampa Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management Department is encouraging residents and businesses to participate and pledge their commitment to reducing at least one single-use plastic from their daily routine. The campaign includes resources at www.reduceyourusetampabay.org. which outlines simple steps to make a difference. Businesses interested in participating can make changes from replacing plastic straws with paper ones, or having their straws available per request. Participating businesses will receive a decal for their windows indicating their support and commitment as well as educational materials at no cost to them. Disposable products made out of plastic or polystyrene (styrofoam) commonly found in eating establishments come in the form of take-out containers, straws, cutlery, cups, bags, stirrers, and more. Encouraging the use of reusable items makes that business a catalyst for new behavior change and societal expectations. Residents can also encourage their favorite business to consider taking the pledge and implementing guidelines to support the cause.
Protecting our environment and reducing waste should be priority. While there are many environmental issues facing our City today, reducing single-use plastic waste is a simple first step in making a huge difference. “The Solid Waste Department takes great pride in protecting our environment and educating our residents and businesses is key to our success. Our tagline really says it all, our department is “Cleaning today, for a greener tomorrow,” said Mark Wilfalk, Director.
For more information on this campaign, please contact the Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management at (813) 348-1146.