Solving the plastic dilemma

Dec. 26, 2019 — A letter writing campaign to bring attention to the need to address plastic recycling issues will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 2. The community is invited.

Members of Florence Precious Plastics (FPP), an offshoot of the activist group Florence ORganizes (FOR), will be discussing the many issues surrounding the plastic paradigm and writing letters to designated companies and their public relations spokespersons. The meeting will meet in the Bromley Room at the Siuslaw Public Library, 1460 Ninth St., from 5 to 8 p.m.

FPP members hope to increase the dialogue between consumers of plastic materials and the producers of those materials.

Eileen Angilletta, the spokesperson for both FOR and FPP, said, “The purpose of this event is to get people involved with solving the plastic dilemma here in Florence. … Precious Plastics hasn't had a general meeting in over six months since the core team members have been working on getting equipment, raising money through donations, and looking for a location for a repurposing plant here in Florence.”

In that time, FPP also completed the requirements to become a recognized nonprofit.

The big problem that faces many companies involved with plastic is the adaptability and cost of plastic. Plastic can be used in many applications and can be shaped and molded into almost any form for any purpose. It is also remarkably affordable. However, many plastics are used for a single, short period of time or, worse yet, is simply removed from the items it surrounds and tossed in the trash.

FPP is one of the groups formed under FOR last year. Several of FOR’s subgroups are focused on education, social justice and the environment. Each committee is tasked with assessing issues and crafting actions to stop or modify situations that they consider untenable.

Angilletta and her fellow FPP members have decided that the issue of recycling can no longer be ignored. The letter writing workshop is one way to participate in crafting a solution, especially since there hasn’t been a change in the recycling rules or opportunities in Florence since recent global issues reduced the types of plastic still recyclable in the area.

“We have participated in other events such as the Master Recyclers' plastic round-up, Power of Florence, and others. It is time now to get the education piece together,” Angilletta said. “This will involve having educators working with school children and local groups on how to repurpose and recycle, as well as how to find alternatives to plastics. That is why we will be starting the writing campaign to corporations to urge them to change their packaging.”

She said the workshop is an opportunity for concerned community members to participate and bring awareness to better alternatives to corporations’ wasteful use of plastic in their packaging, labeling and shipping materials.

Members of FOR, and their sister groups, will also be participating in the third annual Florence Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 19, in support of hundreds of similar marches across the country. The purpose of the march is too express opposition to many initiatives implemented by the current federal administration.

For more information, find the local groups on Facebook at Florence ORganizes and Precious Plastics Florence.


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