The marine debris and plastic pollution issue in our oceans is a solvable problem and starts with each of us taking action and leading by example on land. In Rhode Island today, 10-15% of the material entering our landfill is plastic and 30-35% is food waste. Moreover the landfill is expected to reach capacity by 2034. Meanwhile our streets and coastline are littered with millions of pieces of plastic and low-and-no value materials.
Composting at the residential and business level is a behavior change, like replacing single-use shopping bags with reusable bags, and fuels the movement of fostering environmentally responsible behaviors that are necessary to protect and improve ocean health. By allowing people to reevaluate their consumption and waste footprint, we aim to spark a long-lasting behavior change of never putting food in the trash (landfill), always recycling correctly, and taking a serious look at every item thrown away. It is our belief that these simple steps will lead to awareness of the low-and-no value materials that enter our lives and rapidly become trash, or worse, litter and marine debris in our ocean.
We are looking for 10 restaurants and 200 residents to join the team as enthusiastic ambassadors and take action by composting and recycling correctly, and working towards minimizing material that goes to the landfill. The first wave of participants will record the weight of the material, promote the project to generate interest and more restaurants and residents, and work with the project team to celebrate the successes and use the failures as positive lessons learned to improve the project into the future.