Avoid the plastics and lend a hand

Clark Fork Valley Press & Mineral Independent, Plains, Mont.
·2 min read

Apr. 7—Of the top 10 most common items found on coastlines in 120 countries, seven are food-related.

These are food wrappers, straws and stirrers, plastic cutlery, beverage bottles, bottle caps, plastic lids, and single-use cups and plates. The other three categories were plastic grocery bags and "other" plastic bags (both of which could be linked to food), and cigarette butts.

A press release from the International Coastal Cleanup says it's the first time plastic forks, knives, and spoons have appeared on the top 10 list. (Nearly 2 million pieces were counted.)

While straw bans have caught on in many places, cutlery bans are less common, though just as important. Nicholas Mallos, senior director of the Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program, said, "The 2018 ICC data show that [plastic cutlery] may be a lot more prevalent than we had previously suspected. In addition to skipping the straw, we hope people see this and choose to quit the cutlery, too — by bringing their own when planning to eat on the go."

-Katherine Martinko, treehugger.com

How can WE help? Below are some suggestions on how we can do our part, remembering that:

"The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share." -Lady Bird Johnson

 Encourage eateries to use compostable straws and take out boxes!

 Take your own go-boxes and keep a couple in your vehicle.

 Choose paper bags instead of plastic at the store.

 Start composting!

 Use your own water bottle and coffee thermos.

 Recycle locally all of your clean, corrugated cardboard, metal, vehicle oil &

batteries, aluminum cans.

 Recycle nearby all your #1 and #2 plastics and paper/phone books/magazines.

(Missoula & Kalispell)

 Team up with family, friends, and/or coworkers to help with local clean-up events

like TF Beautification Days, April 15 — 17! Call 827-6942 to volunteer. Earth

Day is April 22 ...do something positive for the planet.

 Pick up trash! Every day we drive by litter...let's pull over where it's safe and

pick it up so no one has to see it again. It does take a village.