Palm Beach, Florida bans single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers

July 1, 2019 by  
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Palm Beach, Florida has become the first town in Palm Beach County to officially ban single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers (also known as Styrofoam containers). The ban on these items will go into effect on December 12, 2019 in order to allow businesses and vendors to use up their current inventory and start switching to more sustainable options. The town council voted to pass the ban in June and will enforce the regulations in restaurants, gas stations, drug stores and grocery stores. Private events and caterers will also have to abide by the restrictions. Town manager Kirk Blouin told the local paper, “The research has shown us these items are bad for the environment, particularly marine life , and it just makes sense to regulate it.” Related: Pacific Island Vanuatu is the first to ban disposable diapers Blouin also noted that although people are very dependent on these convenient plastic items, it is just out of habit and not necessity — and habits can change. “We are all creatures of habit,” he said. “Once we get used to a good habit, it becomes second nature to us.” Many local businesses were already on board with the measure and had ceased offering customers single-use bags as well as other items such as plastic straws and stirrers. Especially for a coastal town, these plastic items do not biodegrade and often end up on beaches and in the ocean, where they break down into microplastic particles. Microplastics are known to cause problems for marine life, and debris is unsightly on beaches. According to the Friends of Palm Beach, a clean-up group in the area, they have already cleared away 120,000 pounds of trash in their clean-ups since 2013. Over 75 percent of all trash collected from the beaches has been plastic waste that ends up in landfills or washes out to sea. Via The Hill and Palm Beach Post Image via Shutterstock

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Palm Beach, Florida bans single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers

Restored Bristol Hotel celebrates Appalachia

July 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

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The Bristol, a newly opened boutique hotel that straddles the Virginia/Tennessee line, is a restored 1925 architectural landmark. Opened last October, the boutique hotel embraces both the musical and industrial roots of Appalachia. Visitors come to Bristol to explore the town known as the “Birthplace of Country Music.” Design elements in the 65-room property include exposed brick walls, a former hand-crank elevator on display and entryways resembling Roman arches. Visitors can join local herbalists for wildcrafting classes, or take a banjo lesson. Lumac, the hotel bar, offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Vivian’s Table, the hotel restaurant, features scratch-made regional cuisine made with local ingredients. Other historic/ sustainable elements include a lobby front desk made of recycled glass and a hanging glass sculpture composed of vintage soda bottles. Related: Meet Maya Ka’an: Mexico’s newest ecotourism destination The Bristol’s Discarded Denim program celebrates the town’s rich denim history. Guests can leave their unwanted denim at checkout and the hotel will donate it to the local Valley Institute Elementary School for its annual recycled textiles fashion show. Any excess denim will be sent to  Blue Jeans Go Green . The town takes pride in its denim company, L.C. King Denim Manufacturing, the oldest cut and sew factory in the U.S. In the early 1900s, Landon Clayton King was raising champion bird dogs at his home in the Appalachian Mountains. He needed tougher clothes to withstand the demands of farming and hunting, which inspired the denim line in the factory he opened in 1913. Today, his great-grandson Jack King runs the company, which has partnered with the Bristol Hotel to provide many of the design elements. Hotel restaurant, Vivian’s Table, uses L.C. King’s striped cloth on its chair seats. Hotel guests can even book behind the scenes factory tours to learn about denim manufacturing. The Bristol’s denim recycling program is part of a much bigger movement. Since real denim is made mostly from cotton, it can be broken down and recycled into something new. Blue Jeans Go Green collects denim to upcycle into insulation . If you want to recycle your denim without going all the way to Bristol, Blue Jeans Go Green’s website lists drop off sites and ways to host your own collection party. + Bristol Images via Bristol Hotel

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Restored Bristol Hotel celebrates Appalachia

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