Forget plastic bans: Mountain towns try volunteerism, bootcamps as solutions to single-use
The Colorado Sun
The sister towns of Telluride and Mountain Village bagged plans to ban plastic straws after learning about an arcane Colorado law preventing municipalities from doing so.
But that hasn’t stopped the resort communities from searching for alternatives to single-use plastics — or even recycling.
The two towns, separated by a free gondola ride, feel the problem is one they can solve. They’re supporting efforts like the Telluride Venture Accelerator, which this week kicked off a two-week program to help startups in the plastics-alternative market.
“We want solutions,” said Ashley Nager, its program director. “We want to galvanize the community around this issue. It’s already there but we want to create more awareness of the companies that already have solutions.”
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Recycling has long been the mantra to protect Earth’s natural resources for humanity. But programs to divert reusable waste from the landfill hit a snag last year when China stopped accepting much of the world’s recyclables in order to clean up its own country. That, in turn, caused some cities to suspend recycling programs or, like Philadelphia, resort to burning half of the recycling collected. In Colorado, many waste companies raised fees last year and had to hunt for new buyers outside of China who would actually recycle recyclables.
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