Moving on: from recycling to zero waste

This article appears in the Small Earth Stories feature series. View the full series.

I had been helping with clean-ups around town in Melrose, Massachusetts, for years when it finally occurred to me that reducing the use of single use plastics would be far more effective.

In 2016 I joined the Melrose Recycling Committee and started working on an Ordinance to ban single use plastic bags. I have since learned a lot about how community organizing and city government work. Armed with documentaries about the effects of single use plastic in the environment, we met with city officials. We educated the community at events from the Farmers Market to the Chamber of Commerce to schools and Senior Housing complexes.

The Bag Ordinance passed unanimously in 2018. An Ordinance to reduce plastic straws/stirrers passed on Sept. 3. We are now working on a Polystyrene ban. As a committee we have evolved and have changed our name to: Zero Waste Melrose.

Trudy Macdonald is a member of the Zero Waste Melrose committee in Melrose, Massachusetts.

 

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Trudy Macdonald, left, at an event encouraging people to swap reusable bags for single-use plastic bags.
Trudy Macdonald, left, at an event encouraging people to swap reusable bags for single-use plastic bags.

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