Palo Alto residents and customers have long been supporters of local sustainable agriculture. They have also been avid supporters of a cleaner, safer environment. In 2016, we launched the “Kick the Plastic Habit” Campaign to be sure that vendors were not unwittingly contributing to overuse of plastic shopping bags by making them readily available for customers. For the same reasons, we asked beverage vendors not to use plastic straws.
The 2016 Campaign asked vendors to offer paper v. plastic shopping bags for customer who forgot their reusable bags. It also provided baskets for customers to collect their produce v. using a plastic bag. We suggested that in addition to reusable bags, customers consider bringing containers to put soft berries in to protect them from being crushed. We also asked Customers to donate their gently used bags to the Market to hand out to customers who forgot theirs.
And finally, we created a new waste disposal station next to the Info Booth for disposal of compostables, recyclables, and waste destined for the landfill. The goal was to minimize landfill waste for the market and to educate our customers (and our volunteers) about recycling and composting. Each market, the landfill bag now contains the least waste of the three containers! We think that is an indicator of success.
In 2017, we are continuing our commitment to “Kick the Plastic Habit” and have asked our prepared food vendors to contribute by using compostable or recyclable serving containers and drinkware.
REDUCE plastic at the Market
REUSE bags and other items
RECYCLE plastic and other recyclables
Check out the Recycling Booth at the Market!
Find out about the impact of plastic on the planet and how you can help:
An article from National Geographic that explores the environmental impact of plastic bag use.
Reducing Disposable Bag Pollution
An article explaining how disposable bags cause pollution and what is being done to reduce the problem.
The Environmental Impacts of Plastic Bag Use
A list of the negative environmental impacts of using plastic bags.
Marine Debris Impacts
An overview of the impact of marine debris on the environment from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Plastic Bags and Wrap
A page that provides education on what can be down to reduce plastic bag use and increase recycling.
Environmental Impact of Plastic Bag
A graphic that explains the life cycle of a plastic bag and its impact on the environment.
The Plastic Bag Problem
An article that provides information on the issue of plastic bags, and how people can reduce use and recycle.
Plastics in our Oceans
A page that explores the increasingly harmful issue of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
Polymers are Forever
Plastics are polymers, and this article explains how plastic does not break down, causing major environmental issues.
Plastics in the Ocean Affecting Human Health
Information from a case study that explored how plastic in the ocean is affecting the health of humans.