Top 9 Things We’re Excited for this Earth Day
Apr 21, 2021Matt Nevins
We have a new President, and the Earth is happy about it!
We are co-sponsoring AB 1200 – the Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act
We partnered with Clearya to seamlessly incorporate our data on food packaging into your shopping!
- Be sure to prioritize reusables and avoid single-use foodware when it isn’t needed, or ask restaurants if they will take your clean reusable mug or container!
- “Single-use” products aren’t as convenient or disposable as the foodware industry would like us to believe — the products themselves or the ingredients can have long-lasting negative effects on our environment and health. Harmful PFAS or “forever chemicals” are lurking inside many single-use plates, bowls and clamshells made out of bagasse, sugarcane, wheatstraw and other plant fibers. Use Clearya (the mobile app or Chrome browser plug-in) when shopping online to avoid foodware products where CEH’s test results indicate likely use of PFAS and to identify preferable products.
We continue to fight for justice with NC environmental justice groups to protect communities
- While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields.
- We all need water! The people in these contaminated communities that are getting sick from PFAS contamination are being told that they need to drink water to stay healthy, and our water is not safe to drink.
- We only have one planet, and we do not have an infinite supply of water for us to consume, so we must continue our fight to keep our water clean.
- The Metro-Chicago area and five areas of California addressed in this lawsuit are together home to more than 26 million people. Many of these areas already have some of the worst air quality in the country, and the methane gas industry is the largest industrial source of VOCs, chemicals which contribute to smog formation. Smog hurts animals, plants, and community health – these are interlinked, and by pushing EPA to ensure companies implement readily available pollution control technology, we are advocating for a healthier planet for all.
- Prop 65 is one of the most important pieces of public health legislation in the country because it increases transparency about the toxic chemicals all around us. Many people are familiar with how Prop 65 can be used to force manufacturers of consumer products to reformulate their goods in order to remove the chemicals of concern (think… lead in baby bibs and cadmium in children’s jewelry), but a less known component of this law is its requirement that industrial polluters exposing nearby communities to listed Prop 65 chemicals must either reduce or eliminate their air emissions so that they don’t expose residents and standers by to levels above the California safety standard, or must warn those being exposed. The statute also deals with illegal discharges of Prop 65 listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. These components of the law make it an important tool for building safe, healthy environments in front and fence-line communities, who are most often low income communities and communities of color most burdened by toxic exposures.
HEADS UP – We’re starting a landscape analysis to deepen our focus on petrochemicals, plastics and climate.
- Given the relationship between the fossil fuels industry, toxic chemicals, climate change and plastics pollution, CEH is working to identify new opportunities for impact at these intersections.
HEADS UP – Our Sustainable School Cafeteria Toolkit is launching soon!
- K-12 school cafeterias across the US throw out enormous amounts of single-use plastic (including foam) or fiber trays and plastic utensils every year, much of which contain harmful chemicals and end up in landfills or continue to cause problems during disposal. We’ll soon be releasing a Sustainable School Cafeteria Toolkit to empower and guide students and staff on how to bring healthier and more sustainable reusable foodware into their cafeterias. Our toolkit contains health and sustainability science around different types of foodware, product recommendations, implementation guides and more!
HEADS UP – we’re partnering with Clean Production Action to unveil a new GreenScreen certification for food packaging!
- Getting manufacturers of compostable foodware to remove PFAS AND avoid other chemicals of concern through certification has many health and environmental benefits, and one is that if the feedstock for compost is healthier (no toxic chemicals), the farmers will be more inclined to apply it and see its benefits. Greater compost application on farmland has been shown to be the way to sequester carbon and produce more and healthier food.