From Kristy Ranieri at SOMA Action:
Community members from Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange are invited to attend a Rahway River Clean Up and Plastic Brand Audit on November 12 in South Orange from 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm. Interested volunteers should meet at the New Waterlands Park parking lot, 30 W 3rd St, South Orange.
Attendees will be aided in a clean-up in a defined area along the Rahway River and then will be asked to record whose plastic products are found in a brand audit. The data will be uploaded to a Greenpeace data base. Greenpeace is asking communities around the world to tell them which brands make the plastic pollution found in communities. Greenpeace plans to publicize the data and hold these big companies accountable. SOMa Action Climate plans to repeat this clean-up and brand-audit event in Maplewood and Millburn moving forward.
Scientists have been documenting for years how animals around the world are suffocating from plastic bags in our seas, about marine life ingesting residual microplastics that ultimately travel up the food chain into our own anatomies and that of our children. “When we throw something away, there is no away. The audit turns the focus from the individual person that litters to the upstream plastic provider. The Rahway River and our oceans are polluted, but not by consumers alone. Multinational corporations are locking us into cheap, disposable plastics, rather than innovating and finding solutions,” explained Bill Haskins, South Orange Green Team member and SOMa Action Climate member. He added, “these corporations play a critical role in the global fight against plastic pollution. We are burdened with the social and environmental impacts of plastic waste, while the producers of these plastics are doing little to help with the problem.”
Priya Patel, Millburn Environmental Commission member and SOMa Action Climate member said, “the results of the brand audit will allow us to plan future plastic reduction strategies and educational programs for the community to improve our waste avoidance, re-use and recycling efforts. This brand audit is a great way to jump right in and join a global effort.”