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500 Million Each Day

Straws are ubiquitous and it seems that most people don’t even consider the impact of the “little” plastic tube. Order almost any cold to-go beverage it comes with a straw. Sit down at a restaurant, your water almost always comes with a straw already in the glass. 500 million plastic straws (equal to nearly 3 million pounds) are used and disposed in our country each day. This amounts to an average 1.6 straws per capita per day. Friday, February 24 is National Skip the Straw Day—consider taking that first step to reduce your straw use. If you are already on the “skip the straw” path, please share this blog and the announcement about National Straw Day. For those who work with food service providers, add the “straws-on-request” policy to your outreach campaigns.


Today’s NERC Blog is courtesy of Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment. Maryland is NERC’s newest state and will host our Spring Workshop on April 3. The Maryland Department of the Environment had a very productive 2017, taking important steps to restore the Chesapeake Bay, mitigate and adapt to climate change, fight for clean air, and advance environmental health initiatives such as lead poisoning prevention and more. We’re seeing measurable results and setting some records along the way, but recognize a lot more work is in store for 2018. Continual improvement will be key.

2017 Annual Reported Waste & Recycling Facility Fires US/CAN

In 2017, US & Canadian waste & recycling facilities have experienced 289 reported fires, three deaths, and eight direct injuries. These fires ranged from small incidents to complete burnouts and occurred in all types of recycling operations. Furthermore, we can assume that the number of "non-reported" fires that occur on a daily basis in recycling operations across the US and Canada is significant. Developing operation and safety processes and procedures, while important, can only take you so far. An effective fire technology solution provides a safety system that prevents incidents that may cause unplanned business interruption, property damages, pollution and/or injuries. This solution should detect an out-of-control process and take automatic action to ensure that the process and the plant are returned to a safe state.