Consumers bear the responsibility for managing waste from products purchased through recycling or discarding in a garbage can. Due to rising costs of raw materials used in manufacturing and awareness of the impact of waste on the environment, manufacturers have begun working to reduce the amount of waste their products generate. Heinz joins other companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Procter & Gamble who have committed to reducing their waste. Both consumers and investors initiated this request and manufacturers are working to comply. Heinz has committed to making 100% of their waste recyclable, reusable and/or compostable by 2025. Efforts by manufacturers will decrease waste in a larger scale than consumers have been able to do through recycling. As the population increases worldwide reducing waste is necessary to decrease the impact on the environment.
Not only is waste bad for the environment if not managed properly, it is expensive for a county to manage. Putnam County spends almost 4.5 million dollars annually to take care of the waste generated in the county. We can help reduce the amount of waste our county manages.
- Take cloth or reusable bags to the grocery store to eliminate the use of plastic bags.
- Shop for items with the least amount of packaging. Individually packaged products have the most packaging and the least amount of food.
- Never shop when you are hungry. Plan meals in advance and follow a list. Buy only what you need. About one-third of the food purchased is thrown away.
- Compost food waste and yard waste rather than placing in the garbage can. This will reduce your garbage by about one fourth.
- Refuse straws, condiment packages or extra napkins when purchasing food at a restaurant. Avoid Styrofoam. Take your own to-go box to pack leftovers. Purchase your own reusable stainless steel straw.
- Donate usable furniture, clothing, shoes and household items to Goodwill, Re-Store or local thrift shops.
- Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. Call or go online and request to be taken off mailing lists. Go to www.catalogchoice.org to remove yourself from catalogs.
- Reduce your dependence on plastic. Plastic waste is becoming an environmental nightmare. Use glass or reusable plastic containers that can be recycled at the end of their lives.
- Stop using disposable plates, cups and silverware. These one-time use products last indefinitely in a landfill.
- Use a water bottle to carry to work or traveling instead of purchasing water in plastic bottles. The one-time cost of getting a nice stainless-steel thermos will save both money and the environment.
- Recycle waste whenever possible. Cardboard, plastics, paper, glass and metals can be recycled in Putnam County and bring revenue to the county. Electronics can also be recycled at the Putnam County Recycling Center. Make sure recyclables are clean so they do not contaminate all the other recyclables collected.
- Purchase good quality products and maintain them so they will last longer before needing replacement.
- Buy only what you need.