Plastic Free

‘Plastic Free July’ goes local with the launch of the Plastic Free Salish Sea… – Islands’ Sounder

Submitted by Plastic Free Salish Sea.

Plastic Free July,, is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution — so communities like ours can have cleaner streets, debris-free land, cleaner water and a better marine environment. The importance of Plastic Free July can not be overstated as COVID 19 has caused many people to suddenly rely on single-use plastics once again. The ban on single-use bags was even suspended in the State of Washington due to heavy lobbying by the plastics industry that claimed single-use plastics were safer during the pandemic. However, a recent UCLA study showed that COVID 19 survives on plastic the longest: 72 hours vs 24 hours on a paper bag.

But locally we have been busy for the last three years developing a community awareness campaign to tackle plastics. The campaign, Plastic Free Salish Sea is spearheaded by the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee.

This coalition, led by Karin Roemers-Kleven from San Juan Island, is a partnership between MRC members and SJC Solid Waste Program; Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District; Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP); the Conservation District and Friends of the San Juans. Members include Karin Roemers-Kleven (lead); San Juan County Marine Program Coordinator Frances Robertson, Ph.D.; Lopez Solid Waste District Training, Education & Outreach Coordinator Nikyta Palmisani; Friends of the San Juans Community Engagement Director Katie Fleming; San Juan County Solid Waste Program Coordinator Mark Ingman; San Juan Island