Welcome to The Plastics Collaborative (PC), an initiative under Humane Action Pittsburgh (HAP), dedicated to fostering a sustainable future by reducing single-use plastics in the greater Pittsburgh region. Our dynamic network comprises representatives from diverse sectors, including community groups, nonprofits, businesses, and local governments. Our focus extends beyond Pittsburgh, encompassing a commitment to environmental justice and equity. As we move forward, PC is enthusiastic about continuing to drive positive change. We aim to significantly reduce single-use plastics use in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. With a keen eye on environmental justice, we strive to create a more equitable and sustainable future for all. Stay informed and join us in this crucial mission for a plastic-free future!
In Southwestern Pennsylvania and around the world, the detrimental effects of single-use plastics on communities are undeniable. These items pose lasting environmental challenges as they neither biodegrade nor easily recycle. Instead, they persist as unsightly litter or break down into harmful microplastics, adversely affecting wildlife, human health, and overall quality of life.
Understanding the global and local implications of single-use plastics is crucial. By acknowledging the significant negative costs associated with these items, we pave the way for sustainable solutions that can mitigate their impact on our communities. Join us in our commitment to a cleaner, healthier environment—where the consequences of single-use plastics are a thing of the past.
Explore how you can be part of the change and contribute to a more sustainable future. Together, we can make a positive impact on Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. Watch the video above for more information.
How you can help reduce Single Use Plastic
Unlike other waste, plastic will never truly break down. While something like a banana peel will biodegrade and return to the earth, plastic waste, known as microplastics, breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. These microscopic fragments of plastics have been found globally in our food systems and even our own bodies.
A comprehensive study conducted by PennEnvironment sheds light on the pervasive presence of microplastics in Pennsylvania’s waterways. The research uncovered alarming findings at every site tested, including iconic locations in our own backyard. The Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, alongside smaller bodies such as Chartiers, Turtle, and Sewickley creeks, and Nine Mile Run in Allegheny County, all exhibited the presence of microplastics. Shockingly, plastic contamination was also identified in the Youghiogheny River in Fayette County and the Connoquenessing Creek in Beaver County. This revelation emphasizes the urgent need for collective action to address the widespread issue of plastic pollution in Pennsylvania’s waterways.
Beyond the environmental concerns surrounding plastic, the production and disposal processes introduce a slew of health risks associated with harmful additives. These include notorious substances like bisphenol-A (BPA), metals such as cadmium or lead, flame retardants, perfluorinated substances (PFAS), phthalates, and various other chemicals. Many of these additives are recognized endocrine-disrupting compounds, capable of altering hormonal balance. The implications are profound, with documented links to a spectrum of health impacts. From cancers and heart problems to obesity, diabetes, birth defects, and repercussions on the reproductive, immune, and nervous systems, the toll is extensive. Understanding the health risks associated with plastic additives is crucial. Stay informed about these findings and explore ways to reduce exposure. By fostering awareness, we contribute to healthier lifestyles and a safer environment. Join us in our commitment to spreading knowledge and creating a future free from the adverse effects of plastic-related chemicals.