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HomeEnvironmental Affairs in Action

Skip the Stuff

Description of the Issue

Collier County contains the largest area of tidally influenced lands in the Gulf of Mexico. Human and natural coh stands for Adaptation of Coastal Urban and Natural Ecosystems, a web-based interactive tool created specificall


What’s the LWVCC’s role?

In collaboration with Dr. Savarese, LWVCC members, Judy Hushon and Sally Woliver, have taken the lead in presenting the ACUNE tool to business and community leaders and elected officials so they understand how to use ACUNE to plan for the impacts of sea-level rise and climate change.

To l

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BASIC INTRODUCTION (for all groups)

The amount of single-use plastic being used in the U.S. has skyrocketed.  Every year, billions of unused straws, utensils, napkins, condiment packets, and other accessories are included in take-out and delivery orders and just thrown away, creating unnecessary waste and plastic pollution.  In Collier County, our landfills, our beaches, the Gulf, our lakes and streams are being polluted with single-use plastics that cannot be recycled.  The LWVCC is helping to address this issue with our “Skip the Stuff” campaign - “Just Say No to Single-Use foodware and condiments.”

With the “Skip the Stuff”, restaurants will only provide single-use food ware and condiments upon request for take-out or delivery orders.  Customers request only what they need and leave the rest, saying, “No Thanks” to single-use items. It’s a simple solution that will reduce restaurant costs, waste and plastic pollution.

Some basic facts:

  • 561 billion disposable foodware items are used in the U.S. each year resulting in 4.9 million tons of waste.

  • The U.S. uses more than 36 billion disposable plastic utensils a year.  Laid end to end, they could wrap around the globe 139 times.

  • Americans use as many as 142 billion straws a year.

  • Chopsticks and napkins require massive amounts of water and trees to produce each year.

  • Packaging is the number one market for plastics at 40%. More and more of the fossil fuel industry’s income depends on plastics as clean cars and energy are becoming more viable. 

  • The vast majority of single-use items are not recyclable.  

  • As much as 23 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean each year, mostly from the U.S.

  • Restaurants spend $19 billion a year purchasing disposable foodware items.

  • Local governments in the U.S. spend $1 billion managing waste and litter.