Synod delegates name for discount in single-use plastics and total plastic air pollution
Citing quite a few experiences on the affect of plastic waste on the surroundings and particularly on susceptible communities, and recalling varied Scripture references, delegates to the United Church of Christ’s Common Synod referred to as for a change from disposable tradition to a reusable and sustainable one.
They handed the decision “Free from Plastics Air pollution,” which requires “methods and actions to mitigate plastic air pollution,” together with training on the toxicity of microplastics and organizing “Zero Waste” initiatives and related actions on native, regional and nationwide ranges to attract consideration to the affect of plastics.
“Plastic air pollution has turn out to be one of the urgent environmental problems with the twenty first century,” stated the Rev. Rob Edwards, pastor of Bayside Christian Church in Virginia Seaside, Va., who chaired the committee that thought-about the proposal. “The failure of producers to recycle plastic bottles and single-use plastic has compelled disposable plastics to landfills. We now have a quickly rising pandemic of plastic air pollution. It’s time to shift from a disposable tradition to a reusable and sustainable one.”
Not elimination however discount
The July 4 motion mixed two related proposals, one from the Florida Convention and one from the New Hampshire Convention, which each referred to as for training, motion, and advocacy to cut back total plastics use, and particularly use of single-use plastic resembling luggage and bottles. Each aimed to remind the church and people of their accountability to take care of and stay with God’s creation.
“Dwelling in concord with the surroundings is difficult,” New Hampshire Convention delegate Zeph Marean stated. “We have to settle for this decision not simply as factor and cut back plastics in our church, but additionally do the observe factor and enact change in our group to take care of the sacredness of God’s creation.”
The decision doesn’t name for the elimination of plastic, acknowledging its worth in industries resembling well being care and meals distribution. Fairly, it encourages producers to hunt out, and customers to assist, options and even bans to single-use plastics and strategies of decreasing plastics use total.
“We are attempting to maneuver to sustainable and reusable and compostable options the place potential,” assured Southern New England Convention delegate Polly Brown. The church, she added, must “work to cut back the quantity of single-use plastics in your congregation, gatherings and private lives.”
Delegates additionally referred to as on the UCC “in all its settings” to have interaction in varied initiatives in conferences, gatherings and in different outreach to handle plastic air pollution, resembling organizing low or zero waste occasions, taking part in cleanups of pure areas and supporting companies that undertake sustainable practices.
Recycling isn’t sufficient
Plastics, sometimes made with petrochemicals, “resist degrading for tons of of years,” and infrequently break down into microplastics which enter water and meals provides and affect lives of crops, animals, and people, the decision says.
Recycling efforts, it provides, are well-intended however fall far wanting an answer. An academic session on this decision claimed that solely 5% of plastics produced in the USA in 2021 have been recycled, with 85% ending up in landfills. “Native cleanups of plastic litter have restricted affect and recycling just isn’t efficient for most pliable objects,” the “whereas” part of the decision reads.
The Rev. Jerry Barrish from the Southern Convention spoke in favor of the decision and instructed that, ultimately, the plastics enterprise will adapt: “Plastic might be changed economically as a result of businesspeople wish to promote their stuff and can discover a method.”
The decision consists of examples of collaborative efforts which have decreased use of plastics in communities, together with the Sierra Membership’s Options to Plastics Pandemic and New Hampshire’s Ten Cities Ten Actions Instrument Package.
Tim Kershner is a Common Synod newsroom volunteer from Campton, N.H., within the New Hampshire Convention.
Content material on ucc.org is copyrighted by the Nationwide Setting of the United Church of Christ and could also be solely shared in response to the rules outlined right here.