Earth Day Sustainability: Circular Economy, Plastic Bags, Compost and Business

by Jamie Trufin
Business Development Community Education Spotlight Jamie Trufin April 22, 2021

Recyclables collected by the City of Phoenix are sent to one of two recovery facilities, including this one on N. Black Canyon Highway. The facility contains a series of machines and conveyors that sort glass, paper, metal, cardboard and plastic into separate bales. (Photo: Fara Illich)

Everything we produce has a life cycle, and if things are not recycled, they will typically end up as litter or in a landfill. A simple definition of sustainability is the ability to maintain today’s needs without compromising the needs of future generations. A significant part of sustainability is creating resilient systems in our cities, businesses and daily lives. The landfill is the last place we want our resources to end up. Instead we want to keep a circular economy system that enables us to reuse our resources without needing to have it end up at a landfill.

Graphic: Future Recycling

Looking for ways to be more sustainable? Here are some easy tips:

Bring reusable bags to the grocery store.

Plastic bags can not go in the recycling bin and can cause sorting machines to jam. This can be costly and reduce the efficiency of the machines. If you have to use plastic bags, do not forget to drop them off at your local grocery stores for recycling. The Fry’s downtown location has one at the first level and another drop-off at the second level. The plastic bags will gain a new life usually as composite wood.

Try composting your waste if you can.

Want to do even more to help divert waste? By composting, you are diverting it from going into landfills and promoting quality soil in our grounds. The less waste going to landfills, the better. Phoenix offers a curbside green organics container to eligible areas for only $5 a month. Check the website for what is accepted. If you want to create your own compost pile or want more info, check the City of Phoenix website, which has excellent resources on how to be an expert composter.

Seek out businesses committed to sustainability. If you are a business owner, learn what actions you can take. 

Businesses can make sustainable changes to help build resilient systems. Phoenix has a Zero Waste Team that is dedicated to help train businesses become more sustainable. As a business owner, be sure to check Green Business Leader to see what actions you can take. As a consumer, ask the businesses and companies you purchase from what they’re doing related to water use, efficiency, recycling, and the sourcing of materials and goods. Try to choose those that are more sustainable than their competitors.

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