With recycling becoming more and more important to governments, consumers, and businesses, and the harmful effects of not recycling becoming clearer, many groups and individuals are doing their part to help out.
In Ohio, for instance, many initiatives are being undertaken to increase recycling and reduce the utilization of single-use plastics. Let’s take a look at some of the ways local governments, companies, and consumers are pitching in.
Plastic Bag Ban Passed by Cuyahoga County Council
In May of 2019, after being in the works for several years, the Cuyahoga County Council passed a ban on plastic bags, along with paper bags that are not 100% recyclable or made from at least 40% recycled material. Some of the key details on the measure include the following:
- The ban received approval by way of an 8-3 vote from the Cuyahoga County Council, with Council President Dan Brady referring to the initiative as “one of the most important pieces of legislation the council has passed.”
- The ban will commence on January 1, 2020, which was established after the original date of October 1, 2019 was considered too soon for retailers to adequately prepare and modify their operations.
- The ban does feature some exemptions, including for restaurant leftover and pick-up containers, bags for newspapers, bags used by dry cleaners, bags for meats, bags for pet waste, bags for prescription medications, and bags utilized for the containment of hazardous materials.
- Enforcement of the ban will be carried out by the Department of Consumer Affairs for Cuyahoga County, with violators receiving a written warning for a first offense and a civil fine up to $100 for a second offense. Any violation beyond the second offense will result in fines of up to $500. Violations in this context are being defined as each day a retailer fails to comply with the ordinance.
- Educational efforts are currently being planned to help inform the public and business owners on the initiative.
Cincinnati Selected for Beyond 34 Initiative
Another recent bit of recycling news for Ohio comes by way of the Beyond 34 initiative, which is an effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to increase the 34% recycling rate of the country.
Orlando was chosen as the first city for the initiative, with Cincinnati following in June of 2019. Let’s look at some specifics:
- The major goal of the initiative is to provide collaborative, data-driven and scalable models for boosting recycling efforts in local communities by paving the way in larger cities.
- Additionally, economic growth is a significant aspect of the initiative, giving cities added incentive to engage in needed recycling.
- Cincinnati was selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the second city in their developing program due to the city’s local policies, current recycling knowledge, and more.
- One key factor that led to Cincinnati being chosen was the city’s prior dedication to green causes, as seen in their goal to achieve zero waste by 2035 as part of their Green Cincinnati Plan.
- The Beyond 34 initiative will help the city to identify recycling projects that can have the biggest impact, furthering the city’s Green Cincinnati Plan and aiding in U.S. waste reduction.
Cincinnati’s Ambitious Green Cincinnati Plan
Since we mentioned it above, it seems fitting to delve a bit deeper into Cincinnati’s citywide proposal, which was updated in 2018. As the city’s website states, the plan is designed to “advance the sustainability, equity, and resilience of the city” and will work to lead Cincinnati’s government to utilizing 100% renewable energy.
Some of the key aspects of the plan include the following:
- Building the largest city-owned solar array in the country
- Making all city facilities, fleet, and operations net carbon neutral by 2035
- Decreasing the household energy burden by 10%
- Reducing energy consumption by 2% annually
- Triple renewable energy generation for both residents and companies
- Reduce food waste by 20% by 2025
- Attain 100% of U.S. EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards
- Decrease the consumption of fossil fuels, including gas, diesel, and natural gas, by 20%
- Reach zero waste by 2035
These goals are incredibly ambitious and bold, and we look forward to seeing Cincinnati succeed in their efforts!
Recycling Education at COSI
One of the best destinations for visitors to Columbus, Ohio is the city’s illustrious Center of Science and Industry, or COSI, an interactive facility dedicated to teaching families about key areas of science (and helping the little ones have fun while learning).
For the 2019 Earth Day celebration, the center expanded one of their exhibits to help instruct kids and their parents on proper recycling techniques. Some key points:
- SWACO, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, has been a partner of COSI for some time, helping the center to illustrate the best ways to recycle waste.
- Features of the exhibit include information on recyclable materials, examples of materials being broken down, an interactive recycling game, and more.
- Further information about the exhibit, along with the many others that COSI offers, can be found on the COSI website.
We Look Forward to More Great Developments!
As you can see, Ohio truly is doing its part in going green and creating a more sustainable future. We’re excited to learn about more in the coming months!