Letter: Are we making any progress with recycling?

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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It’s Earth Week and how are we doing in Albert Lea and Freeborn County regarding recycling and eliminating single use plastics? Freeborn County Environmental Services certainly has good recycling information, but where do we see it in the community or hear about it frequently reminding us to recycle? If it’s on social media, lots of people won’t see it there. Hy-Vee is using more plastic bags than before Covid and not encouraging customers to bring reusable bags. They have a whole aisle of beverages in single use plastic bottles plus a large display of bottled water. They do sell more paper plates than styrofoam, while some other retailers stock much more styrofoam plates and cups than paper options. Though they sell paper products, HyVee catering service has used styrofoam plates and cups for many years. Some fast food places and restaurants use cardboard or plastic to-go containers, but most still use styrofoam. And most often all trash is put in one container instead of separating recyclable plastic and cans. At home we drink from a glass without using a straw. Restaurants should not provide a plastic straw with every beverage unless a customer requests one. I’ve been recycling for more than 40 years, and I don’t see that we are making much progress. Many other cities, states and countries are way ahead of us in reducing their dependence on plastics that are damaging our environment, our water, food and our health.

Lenore Fries
Albert Lea

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