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Back-to-School Recycling Lesson

September 02, 1993|CONNIE KOENENN

Question: If California has 5,195,777 kids in public schools and each one throws away a plastic sandwich bag, paper bag and disposable juice pack every school day, how much garbage is created?

Answer: Too much, says the California Integrated Waste Management Board, which regulates state landfills. The board has launched a back-to-school campaign urging kids and parents to think reusable.

The promotion is a first, says the board's Pat Macht, based on studies that show an increased acceptance of recycled products. "And we've also seen a manufacturing explosion of products with recycled content--writing paper, notebooks, even some brands of tennis shoes."

So they've put together a back-to-school quiz for parents and one for kids (True or false: Glass never wears out, it can be recycled forever . It's true) as a primer in waste prevention. And they are promoting the "0" waste lunch of reusable lunch pail, thermos, sandwich-and-snack container and cloth napkin.

That could make a dent in California's 45 million annual tons of waste, Macht says.

"It doesn't require more effort, just a change in habit," she says. For the board's free information kit on how to reduce waste including a reusable shopping bag and shopping list, call (800) 553-2962.

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