Mission : To advise Sierra Club/PA members, volunteer leaders and staff about the best practices, statewide policy and opportunities for action as related to reducing and eliminating our contributions to landfills, incinerators and other non-reusable and non-recyclable destinations and the disproportionate impacts this has on frontline communities, with a priority on limiting single use plastics and promoting sustainable alternatives for industry, retail merchants and consumers.
To achieve this mission the team will need to track industry trends and best practices in terms of state level and national policy, liaise with organizations with similar missions and stay connected with Group volunteer teams and Sierra Club national resources.
- Track Legislation (looking for one or two volunteers to help with this)
- Create Educational Experiences (stay tuned for blogs, videos, and more)
- Track Litter from Clean-Ups across the state. (While clean-ups are important and the data we find here can be useful, this is reactionary work and we need the legislation that stops this waste from being created in the first place.)
Meetings and Events
The SC/PA Clean Energy Team meets the 4th Thursday of each month via video call. Look for "Chapter Zero Waste Team Mtg" event on our event calendar.
Contacts - Volunteer Interest
To ask a quesiton of the Zero Waste Team, or learn how you can contribute to our team, submit this Volunteer Interest Form.
We are always looking for new volunteers. Join our next meeting (see Meetings & Events above) or connect with our team leaders to learn how you can work on building our resource hub, tracking PA legislation that helps advance our communities towards Zero Waste in Pennsylvania.
Zero Waste Team In Action
PFAS In Things You Aren't Thinking About - Feb 22, 2023
Are we being exposed to Forever Chemicals (PFAS) through local farms because of contamination in the municipal sludge that farms use for fertilizer? Are we at risk from unsafe levels of PFAS in other everyday items, like our clothes? Hear how local activists testing and analyzing in places where the EPA and DEPA have been slow to investigate. Tamela Trussell from Move Past Plastic will speak about PFAS exposure from clothes, utensils, packaging and other stuff that we may not think about. Darree Sicher from the SC/PA Food & Ag team will speak about PFAS link between our foods and farms and the use of sewage sludge/biosolids marketed as a “fertilizer”.
"The Story of Plastic", Zero Waste product reviews, Kids and plastics
Speaker: Zero Waste team members: Carol Armstrong, Emily Davis, Fawn Contreras, Corrine Dieterle
Date: June 22, 2021
Hosted by: Zero Waste Team
Description: This webinar has 3 sections: a summary of the excellent documentary film "The Story of Plastic" (registrants for this webinar recieved a link to view the film for free for until July 1); a report from Zero Waste team volunteers about a few “low impact” consumer products that propose to help us avoid single-use plastics and a discussion of what power kids hold in the fight against plastic, and how one library promoted kids to look closer at our plastic use along with sharing books to further the conversation.
Recap of 2021
We launched our Zero-Waste Conservation team in February 2021. In less than a year we have researched all counties across the state and compiled a spreadsheet of what each county offers in regards to recycling. You can look up your county here.
In June we presented a webinar that had three parts where our team shared the connection of plastic to the oil industry, simple changes you can make in your homes to go zero-waste as used by members of our team, and the power kids have in reducing plastics and why their help is so important. You can watch it here.
Volunteers in our team read over the PA Climate Action Plan and write a review of the plans the state has in regards to waste. This will soon be published on our blog.
We have big plans for doing even more in 2022. If you’d like to join our volunteer group we’d love to have you. Click here.
Call to Action!
Learn what you can do in your local municipality to take steps to go towards Zero-Waste. Do you have a local plastic ban? Get out into your community and start the conversation about the harms of plastic and see what you can do to create local change. Stop back here often to get more ideas.
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Other national resources
Reference municipal ordinances
Example ZW Plans (in PA and beyond)
Community Engagement Examples
- Recycling Programs By County
- Plastic Film Recycling Drop-off Locations
Blogs & Articles
- June, 2023 - Are Synthetic Playing Surfaces Doing More Harm Than Good? - Tamela Trussell
- March, 2021 - Made of Plastic, Not Fantastic - Fawn