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  • Donna Stanton and Margie Suozzo

A Starter "Kit" For Tackling Plastic Pollution

YOU can be the Solution to Plastic Pollution.

Here are 6 things to get you started.


According to a new report by Beyond Plastics, The New Coal: Plastics and Climate Change, the plastics industry is set to surpass coal as a major contributor to climate change by 2033. Yes. It is true.

But your actions can make a difference in changing the vector of plastics from up, to down.


On October 14, 2021 GreenTown partnered with Compassion Week Los Altos to present a webinar Be Part of the Plastic Pollution Solution! (view recording here) to heighten participants' compassion for the Earth and spur action. The 52 people attending the event not only gained knowledge about plastic pollution's effects on the environment and our health, but also came away with strategies to make an impact both on a personal level and as an advocate for better policies. We were pleased to welcome Heidi Sanborn of the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC) as a guest speaker, who shared their critical work on legislation to hold the plastic industry accountability for the waste they create.


We compiled a list of resources for participants based on the presentation which we'll be sharing with you in two parts: This month, we'll share our recommended next steps and action items (see below). Next month, we'll share resources for further learning and networking.


Recommended Next Steps and Action Items


1. Watch The Story of Plastic documentary

You can do so for FREE until Nov. 30 here. Spread the word! AND…save this date! On Wed. Nov. 10, 2-3pm, The Plastic Pollution Coalition is hosting a webinar with the filmmaker and frontline activists. Register here.


2. Make your voice heard locally!

Contribute to the Los Altos Climate Action & Adaptation Plan. The GreenTown Zero Waste Team will be studying the draft plan when it is released in early November. We could use your help in writing the actions we would like to see included that will reduce waste and single-use plastic in Los Altos. The GreenTown Zero Waste Team will be discussing options at our next meeting on Friday, November 12 at noon. Email Donna Staton, donna@greentownlosaltos.org to join in.


3. Do something right now to move the needle on national legislation

Here are two actions that will only take a few minutes.

  • Send a brief email to our own Senator Padilla and urge him to co-sponsor the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. Click here to send your email. For background on the BFFPP Act, click here. Additional letters can be sent via this Action Network.

  • Help get single-use plastics out of our National Parks. Read and sign on to this petition to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

4. Come to the Extended Producer Responsibility Coffee Hour!

On Fri., Dec. 3, at 11am Pacific, join this coffee hour for a free, informal conversation on to discuss the latest EPR proposals and how to ensure that they achieve their goals. It is sponsored by the National Stewardship Action Council, Beyond Plastic, Upstream and the Conservation Law Foundation.


5. Take the Beyond Plastic Pollution Class (online)

This class, offered through Bennington College in Vermont, is with former EPA administrator Judith Enck. You can either audit it or take it for credit. It’s enlightening AND fun! The class meets Wednesday evenings from 4/13/22 - 5/25/22, see more info here. A small group of GTLA members may take this together as a group learning activity. To join us, email Donna.

6. Join the GreenTown Zero Waste Team!

We meet online and share news and ideas to tackle waste locally. We’d love your help and suggestions. Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on Friday, Nov. 12 at noon. We'll be working on the Los Altos Climate Action Plan (waste section), planning a DIY workshop for making plastic-free holiday gifts, and putting together loaner kits of reusable party supplies (plates, cups, cutlery, napkins).

Email donna@greentownlosaltos.org to be added to the list.


Let us know which actions you take by emailing donna@greentownlosaltos.org.

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