One of our yearly tasks as part of our General Assistance Program grant from EPA is to conduct outreach involving the Pinoleville and local community. This year our department decided to focus on Pinoleville’s Healing Hearts Saving Lives Walk, as a way to provide solid waste outreach to the hundreds in attendance.
The Healing Hearts Saving Lives walks typically offers disposable single-use water bottles to the families joining the event. We recognized this would be a perfect opportunity to provide straws for re-usable water bottles to expose them to single-use plastic alternatives. Single-use plastics are usually not recycled as effectively as we might be led to believe as consumers.
To conduct this solid waste outreach, we purchased LifeStraws filters that protect again bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter, dirt, sand, and cloudiness. Some of our community members worry about drinking from the tap, and the Lifestraws will provide cleaner water and encourage our participants to avoid single-use plastic bottled water. We made sure to also create an infographic handout to let people know what products they were using and why they help. Along with some informational illustrations of the lifecycle of single-use plastics, and the years it takes for straws, water bottles, and coffee cups to deteriorate.