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Planet First Foundation 

Learn more about the reduction of single-use plastics and starting recycling programs in your workplace and beyond.  Our blog is a reliable resource for a broad range of energy topics, information, and news.


November 19, 2019 marked a very important day for Aruba’s future! The Parliament of Aruba has officially banned single use plastics and Oxybenzone, a chemical found in many sunscreens that contribute to the deterioration of coral reefs.

This means that any disposable, single use plastics, such as: plastic cups, straws, utensils, containers, and stirrers are now prohibited.

Starting July 2020, all import, sale and production of any single use plastics or Oxybenzone will be penalized.

The island started to take a great step in the right direction back in 2017, when single use plastic bags were banned. Now, taking it even further with this great achievement, the island can look forward to cleaner and healthier coral reefs, beaches and landscape!

Updated: Feb 16

A substantial majority of Americans think the U.S. government should do “whatever it takes to protect the environment” according to a 2016 Pew Research Poll. What effective governmental action should look like must include incentives for using recycled plastics in manufacturing and disincentives to market products with single-use plastics from bottles, bags, cups and straws.

Plastic producers have lobbied against legislation because it would reduce their profit margins. Plastic producers fight bag bans under the guise of defending customers’ finances and freedom to choose which is a smoke screen to defeat legislation that has attempted to control plastic's single use and resulting pollution. Notwithstanding a significant amount of evidence of the harm it causes to local communities and the world’s oceans, no governmental action has materialized yet. Recycling is not effective in most of the U.S. and lacks the proper incentives to make it work well.

The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Making a new product requires a lot of materials and energy - raw materials must be extracted from the earth, and the product must be fabricated then transported to wherever it will be sold. As a result, reduction and reuse are the most effective ways you can save natural resources, protect the environment and save money.

Ideas on How to Reduce and Reuse

Buy used. You can find everything from clothes to building materials at specialized reuse centers and consignment shops. Often, used items are less expensive and just as good as new.

Look for products that use less packaging. When manufacturers make their products with less packaging, they use less raw material. This reduces waste and costs. These extra savings can be passed along to the consumer.

Buying in bulk, for example, can reduce packaging and save money.Buy reusable over disposable items.

Look for items that can be reused; the little things can add up. For example, you can bring your own silverware and cup to work, rather than using disposable items.

Maintain and repair products, like clothing, tires and appliances, so that they won't have to be thrown out and replaced as frequently.

Borrow, rent or share items that are used infrequently, like party decorations, tools or furniture.