Updated: Oct 21, 2020
But is it possible to live with less waste during a pandemic? Yes!
Consumption of single-use plastic has increased by over 250% in the US since the outbreak of COVID-19. The plastics lobby took advantage of public fear and pushed DHHS to suggest that single-use plastic is safer for consumers without proof. That doesn’t have to be the case moving forward. Over 125 virologists, epidemiologists, and health experts from 18 different countries deemed reusables safe to use.
We at Waste Free Earth want you to feel empowered to ditch single-use items and encourage your favorite brands to do so too. Here’s an outreach template that you can send to your favorite brands, shops, and restaurants. Feel free to put it in your own voice!
Outreach template to ditch single-use
My name is [...] and [connection to the organization]. I’m passionate about reducing my environmental impact and try my best to limit my waste consumption.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, consumption of single-use plastic has increased by over 250% in the US but there’s no proof that plastic is any safer than reusables. In fact, over 125 virologists, epidemiologists, and health experts from 18 different countries have deemed reusables safe to use.
I’m reaching out to you because we need your help to reduce our single-use plastic intake. Moving forward, can you reduce the amount of plastic that you use to package [...]? I want to be able to use my reusables at your establishment like I did in the past. I understand that you were taking extra precautions due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and wanting to keep everyone safe. However, now that reusables are deemed safe to use again, I am hoping that you will allow the use of reusables and reduce the amount of single-use plastic in the future.
Want to send to your local representatives? Switch out the third paragraph with this one:
I’m reaching out to you because I need your help to reduce our community’s single-use plastic intake. A lot of people in our community don’t know that reusables are safe to use during the pandemic. Would you be willing to make a public statement to encourage our community to reduce their plastic consumption? I understand that the [city/county/state] was taking extra precautions due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and wants to keep everyone safe. However, now that reusables are deemed safe to use again, I am asking you to help spread that message.
We’ve been using this same outreach template as individuals because a lot of people still don’t know that reusables are safe to use. If you get a response back looking for support, let them know that the team at Waste Free Earth would love to lend a hand!
For example, here’s the Instagram message we sent to our local CSA at Trillium Hill Farm who has started phasing out plastic packaging again! We are so thankful they were extremely receptive to our request and wanted to do better. Be sure to check them out if you live in Vermont!
The important thing to remember when reaching out to organizations is that most likely, they didn't want to switch over to plastic but they had to due to state regulations and all the unknowns regarding how COVID-19 was contracted and spread. Now that we have the science behind us, let's help raise awareness and move away from single-use plastics once again.
We believe that zero waste access is all about education and communication.
Be kind, sincere, and understanding when you send your message, email, in-person conversation, or phone call. We are all in this fight together and we need to continue to support and empower one another.
Looking for more tips on zero waste living? Check out our blog!