The single-use plastics policy is an attempt to move upstream in the effort that the Conservancy has mounted in recent years to “monitor pipeline construction, well drilling and fracking to conserve and protect our mountains, valleys, and streams.” It is one thing to oppose a pipeline. It can be even more effective to reduce the need for natural gas used in the production of plastics.
The heart of the Conservancy single-use plastics policy is one clear sentence: “It is the policy of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy to change behaviors and policies to reduce and ultimately eliminate single-use plastics.”
In order to achieve this lofty goal, three specific activities are spelled out in the policy.
- “Educate West Virginia legislators and the public on the issue, developing strategies to reduce microfibers, supporting bag bans, and promoting convenient substitutes for all single-use plastics.”
- Request that participants at all WVHC functions only bring alternatives to single-use plastic to these events.
- Ensure that vendors that the Conservancy uses to help host events are aware of the policy and avoid single-use plastic for food and drink that they supply.
Plastics, and in particular single-use plastics, have become ubiquitous in our society, “entering the food chain, threatening wildlife, and damaging ecosystems.” Taking on this issue will require years of hard work. And yet the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, which is what the Conservancy has done. If you are interested in participating in the Conservancy’s fight to reduce the use of single-use plastics, contact Larry Thomas, President of the WVHC.