February 2021 – Though so many 2020 goals were put on hold, the Sausalito Sustainability Commission (SSC) kept their focus on the future of environmental protection. We checked in with Commissioner Kathy Hutton to get current on the SSC’s programs, including the approaching Plastics Ban. Read on to learn more, and find out what recent changes we made here at Driver’s.
Did you know that only 9% of all plastics were recycled in 2018? One of our biggest environmental challenges is with single use plastic. More and more, waste management companies are struggling to find markets for used plastic. Though foreign buyers were once accepting recyclables, those markets have largely dried up. This means that even if plastic containers are marked as “recyclable”, the reality is they are often heading for landfills and end up in our waterways.
The Sustainability Commission is working in collaboration with Sausalito’s waste hauler, Bay Cities Refuse, and a grant from Zero Waste Marin to assist businesses with the transition away from single use plastic. Bay Cities Refuse has also created a page on their website to help educate folks about the upcoming Plastics Ban. This page will continue to be updated over the course of the year.
The commissioners realize businesses have burdens beyond sustainable packaging to focus on during COVID. Because of this, the SSC deferred the ban last year, but plans to roll it out in 2021. “As we return to some sense of normalcy hopefully later this year, we want to help local businesses come back greener,” said Kathy Hutton.
Here at Driver’s Market, our efforts in 2020 were focused on the health and safety of our staff and customers. “Still,” said Adam Driver, “we did make a few packaging changes with the health of the environment in mind.” First, we stopped using black microwaveable plastic trays for our take-home meals, and replaced them with aluminum trays. The lids are still clear plastic, but this change will greatly reduce our plastic footprint. Second, we stopped packaging our burritos in plastic and now wrap them in aluminum foil, further reducing our plastic use. “Hopefully 2021 will afford us more time to focus our efforts on sustainability,” said Adam.
The SSC is offering each Sausalito business a free starter kit and online consultation to help them maximize sustainability. Sign up at: https://tinyurl.com/plasticbansupport or text or call (415) 494-9715.
Beyond waste, the Sustainability Commission is advising the City Council on issues related to the current climate emergency, including addressing our biggest emissions categories in transportation and energy. These initiatives include installing public EV chargers, migrating to a city fleet using EVs, helping promote cleaner energy options for residents and businesses, and installing solar, storage and EV chargers as “Sustainability Hubs” in the city. The commission is coordinating these climate emergency initiatives with other cities in Marin. Information with resource links can now be found on the city’s website HERE.
Additionally, according to Kathy, the commission has been diligently working to push for sustainability and climate justice in every aspect of the city’s new General Plan and Capital Improvement Projects. “More is on the horizon!” she said.
Watch the video recording of the Single Use Plastic Ban Workshop from December 8, 2020