Visitors to Union County parks this summer can give their outdoor gatherings a zero waste makeover by using washable or recyclable picnic gear including plates, cups, utensils and tablecloths.
“Cutting down on single-use paper or plastic items in our parks is a simple way to help the environment while enjoying the outdoors with friends and family,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca L. Williams.
“Zero waste” generally refers to sturdy, reusable items that can be washed or recycled, instead of being disposed in landfills or incinerators.
First-timers can take a step-by-step approach to organizing zero waste meals, starting with a few items before moving on to others.
- Inexpensive, reusable plates, cups and utensils are widely available for recreational camping and other outdoor uses. They come in a variety of patterns and shatterproof materials including bamboo and stainless steel (plain or enameled) as well as melamine and other durable plastics.
- Reusable food containers can substitute for disposable plastic or foil food wrappings. Other reusable options include washable beeswax wraps and silicone pouches.
- Washable cloth table covers or sturdy reusable plastic table covers can substitute for flimsy single-use plastic tablecloths.
Reusable options are also widely available for napkins, towels, table decorations and other items.
Union County residents can stay up to date with their local and countywide recycling programs by downloading the free Recycle Coach app.
For more information about Recycle Coach and all county-run recycling programs, visit the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning at ucnj.org/recycle.
More information about the Union County parks system is available at ucnj.org/parks.
Quick links to all environmental programs and activities hosted by Union County are available at ucnj.org/green-connection.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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