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Reducing food waste and recycling can help the environment

Food waste
Posted at 4:26 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 06:52:03-04

TAMPA, Fla. — One of the ways everyone can reduce the pollution footprint all year long is through recycling. Experts said some ways we can all be better recyclers are to bring our own bags to the grocery store and to ditch plastic water bottles for a re-useable one.

ABC Action News spoke with Erin Levine from World Centric. The company sells everyday products that are made of 100% recycled materials. Levine said it is important for consumers to get familiar with what is and is not recyclable. She said throwing greasy pizza boxes and plastic grocery bags in those blue bins amounts to “wish cycling.”

“When people want to do the right thing, and they are unsure of where to dispose of an item they will often place it in the recycling bin. In hopes that it will truly go through the system and be recycled. Unfortunately, that is called wish cycling and not always the case with some items,” explained Levine

Along with recycling, it is important for families to reduce their food waste. A family of four in Florida will spend about 16-hundred dollars a year on wasted food. That food then sits in a local landfill and produces greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane which contribute to global warming.

Daniel Gallagher is the recycling coordinator for Hillsborough County. He said food waste is one of the largest components of garbage collected curbside in the county. But, he added this is not just a local problem and there are solutions.

“Food waste is a huge problem that impacts the globe by doing simple steps like meal prepping, auditing your food waste, composting, feeding people, feeding animals, we can really solve this issue that is impacting us globally,” explained Gallagher.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a national goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030.

You can learn more about how to reduce your family’s food waste here.