Practice Plastic Consciousness this Earth Day

Published on April 17, 2024

Man preparing to recycle some plastic bottles at home.

As Earth Day 2024 approaches, it is a reminder of actions that individuals can take to build a brighter and healthier future for our community and planet. EARTHDAY.ORG, the organization responsible for the inception of Earth Day in 1970, has designated this year’s theme as Planet vs. Plastics. Read on to learn how you can participate in a #PlasticDetox, and if you do use plastic, how you can properly dispose of it.


There are a quite a few easy swaps you can make in your daily life to be plastic conscious.

Leave single-use plastic grocery bags in the past! Stock up on reusable bags to carry your groceries. This one change will cut down on plastic use and keep it out of the landfill since plastic bags are not recyclable. You can also cut down or eliminate plastic wrap and sandwich bags by using beeswax-coated fabric, which is becoming a more common food wrap material.

Invest in a reusable water bottle. There are a number of options out there, and a reusable cup means no more plastic straws OR paper straws.

Around the kitchen, you can replace plastic utensils, straws, tableware, etc. with wood or bamboo items. Bamboo is lightweight like plastic, but also durable and compostable.

Check out the #PlasticDetox hashtag on social media for more ideas and add some of your own to the campaign.

Plastic Disposal

City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services has recycling guidelines for residents that are outlined on the city website. Some of the tips involving plastic include:

  • Recyclables should be loose in your recycling cart, NOT tied up in a plastic bag.
  • Plastic bottles and jugs with necks are acceptable for curbside recycling.
    • You can keep your caps on your bottles!
    • Bottles and jugs should be rinsed out and free of residue.
    • You can crush them to save space in your recycling cart.
  • Plastic bags, plastic wrap, plastic wrap, and similar products are NOT acceptable for curbside recycling.
    • Instead, take them to a nearby store that accepts them, such as Harris Teeter or Walmart, or repurpose them.

Do you want to get more directly involved this Earth Day? Use the EARTHDAY.ORG Global Event Map to find a volunteer event near you.

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