Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form, and 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. Since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years. 1
Plastic waste is a crisis affecting marine life and the health and future of our planet. Seattle University has created an Earth Day Northwest 2020 project around this crisis, and has committed to hosting a zero-waste day on Earth Day 2020.
In an effort to raise awareness and educate students, faculty and the surrounding community – Seattle University will remove all non-recyclable and non-compostable items from their cafeterias and cafes the day of the event. They also will tape off most of the trash cans around campus.
Surrounding this entire event, they will conduct an outreach campaign that will offer educational materials, and provide education on recycling in high traffic areas.
Additionally, any and all trash that is produced on this day will be taken to a centralized location to show a visual impact of the waste we create.
The long term vision of this project is that through education and outreach, they will help the community change their behaviors in the long run – effectively leading to a reduced demand on waste infrastructure in the long term.
We are excited to see the impact Seattle University’s Zero Waste Earth Day event, and we will keep you updated as the day gets closer.