WACO, TX — The Cameron Park Zoo recently rid of their last plastic cup. The zoo made a vow to no longer have plastic wear in the park.
On June 18, the zoo posted on Facebook saying it was going to be the last piece of plastic they would bring into the zoo. Plastic pollution is continuing to grow in our environment, and the zoo hopes by stopping their use of plastic they can inspire others to do the same.
"We are working in different ways to be more sustainable. I know our cafe manager is looking into all of our to-go containers and all the containers we use for food are going to be compostable items," said Brittanie Delorit, a zookeeper.
Along with plastic, they are also working to weave out Styrofoam, as it also can't be recycled easy.
Excited for the green future that the zoo is moving towards, Delorit knows that she has to inspire rather than tell others to be more plastic aware.
"You don't want to sound preachy almost so what we decided to do is internally change everyone's mindset here before we reach out to the public," Delorit said.
According to the United Nations Environment Program, researchers estimate more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s, and 60 percent of that plastic has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment.
The zoo is choosing the perfect time to use less plastic because July is Plastic Free July. It's a time where you can pledge to use less plastic and find different alternatives in your everyday life.
The movement has inspired over 120 million participants in 177 countries. If you think that only you can't make a difference, Plastic Free July says a small change collectively can make a massive difference to our communities.
It's easy to start small and Plastic Free July has great tips and tricks on how to get the ball rolling. The website gives ideas on how to challenge your plastic use day-to-day, like not using a plastic straw in your drink.
For more tips on how to become plastic aware and take the pledge for Plastic Free July, visit their website.