Our Engagement Subcommittee works to connect the work we do with the broader Queens community, regardless of their ability to attend our monthly meetings. To that end, we share public events that may be of interest to the general public and conduct activities to spread the word about the initiatives we support.
In January 2019, the Queens Solid Waste Advisory Board Organizing Committee won a Reuse and Repair grant from the Citizens Committee for New York City that allowed us to set up textile upcycling workshops at Queens Greenmarkets and other locations throughout the borough, including in Sunnyside, Ridgewood, and Jamaica. At these workshops, we taught people how to transform unwanted fabric into cloth totes to replace reliance on plastic bags.
Below are some photos from our Tote It Don’t Throw It workshops:
Adapted from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website:
“Each year, Americans throw away more than 100 billion plastic bags. Less than 1% are recycled. Recycling these bags and other film plastics reduces waste and litter, resulting in cleaner streets and waterways and less material in landfills. Recycling also protects wildlife because plastic bags and film plastics can be dangerous to animals that ingest them or are strangled by them. In addition, using recycled plastic films in place of virgin plastics reduces our demand for oil. Recycled plastic bags and film plastics provide valuable material to manufacturers of plastic lumber, plastic bags, and other useful products.”
New York State’s Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act (Act) became effective on January 1, 2009. In 2015, Governor Cuomo signed amendments to the Act that address film plastics that include, but are not limited to, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, and shrink-wrap.