March 1 Quarterly Meeting — Plastics: What Now?


At our March 1 meeting, staff from the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Sustainability at Work discussed what’s happening in recycling and reuse. Below are some the take-aways.

Wondering what’s happening with recycling after seeing recent news headlines? Here’s a short video that explains how January 2018 changes to international recycling markets are impacting US recycling:
grist video
Click here to watch.

Read more about what’s happening here in Portland and what it means for you.

Top take-aways

We don’t know when “extra plastics” recycling will return. Right now those plastics are not economically viable to recycle. Read more.

Portland’s regular recycling (at work and home) has not changed. However, it’s more important than ever to “recycle right” by only recycling the allowed items. So it’s a great time to:

  1. Review the list
  2. Label your workplace recycling with accurate signs
  3. Call Metro’s recycling information line (503-234-3000) if you have questions about what can be recycled.

Reduce and reuse first, then recycle

Recycling is great! By recycling old products into new ones reduces the use of natural resources and saves energy and water in the manufacturing process.

BUT, far more energy and resources are saved by reducing the amount of disposable products you use, and reusing products as much as possible before disposing of them. This infographic from the City’s Climate Action Now campaign shows that disposal is only a tiny percent of a product’s carbon impact:


Tips for reuse in Portland

Find tons of ideas and resources at ResourcefulPDX.

resourceful pdxClick here to see the map of reuse, swap and repair opportunities in Portland.

This quarter’s meeting was generously hosted by:

Cambia Logo