Resource Sections

Reducing Waste

At Sustainable Plymouth we understand that our planet can no longer tolerate the endless stream of waste being produced in our everyday lives.  Microplastics are found in our air; water; food; and bodies, as are PFAS and other bioaccumulative “forever” chemicals.  Here are some resources to help you understand the issues and reduce waste.

C.A.R.E. (Creating A Responsible Environment) for the Cape & Islands  – COMPOSTABLE FOOD SERVICEWARE BUYING GUIDE  July 2020

Link to Polystyrene ban compliant foodware catalog – https://syscokitchen.s3./catalog-sustainable-plymouth-11210.pdf

Link to Earth friendly foodware catalog – http://www.excellentpackaging.com/catalog/bmp/biomass-bmp.html

Article/study regarding microplastics found in human placenta – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412020322297

Information regarding PFAS – https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/pfc/index.cfm

Info regarding reducing take-out waste – https://recyclingworksma.com/Restaurant-Takeout-and-Delivery-Meals.pdf

Guide to home composting – https://www.mass.gov/doc/home-composting

We are a Plastic Pollution Coalition partner; see their “Take Action” suggestions here – https://plasticpollutioncoalition/Take-Action

Recycling

Does recycling still work? Check out this article written by Sustainable Plymouth Advisory Board member, Ken Stone: https://oldcolonymemorial-ma.newsmemory.com?selDate=20230112&goTo=A03&artid=0

Resource guides to find out what can and can’t be recycled:

Some generalities:
Just because you see the “chasing arrows” symbol on an item, that does not mean that it is in fact recyclable. The symbol was developed by the plastics industry after the first Earth Day celebrations to try and blunt growing concerns about plastic waste by suggesting recycling would solve the problem.  Recycling alone will never do so, thought it remains important. The chasing arrows were also used in part to help recycling facilities identify what sort of plastic an item is made of.

Most plastics that come from households will be numbered 1 – PET or PETE, 2 -HDPE , 5 – PP and 6-PS .  The numbers are located inside of the chasing arrows triangle and the letters are underneath. When it comes to the bottles and rigid containers that go in your recycling bin, big brand owners and local companies alike can’t get enough of the rigid #1s, 2s, and 5s to replace petroleum-based ‘virgin’ material. New laws in four states will soon require it.
Cardboard, paper, glass and aluminum are very recyclable in addition to number 1, 2 and 5 plastics.

Those companies that collect the materials in bins for plastic bags at supermarkets will also like all sorts of film plastic such as bubble wrap, bread bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, produce bags, case overwrap and food storage bags.  Just try to remove paper labels if any are attached. Some categories of plastics cannot be recycled. Polystyrene (PS – 6) is not recycled in either its rigid (think take-out food containers) or foam (think a.k.a Styrofoam) forms.  A good number of the rigid take-out containers used by restaurants are PS and should be thrown out.  On the other hand, many establishments use containers made of one of the other materials that are recyclable.  So just take a moment to examine them prior to disposal or recycling.

Black plastics are not recycled (the optical sorting machines can’t read them and black is too saturated a color to be mixed with other recycled plastics).  So regardless of what type of plastic a black item is made of, just throw it out. Straws and plastic utensils are also trash as are cardboard milk and juice containers and most all beverage cups made of paper that are lined with a thin layer of plastic coating to prevent leakage.

Textiles are now banned from the waste stream by MA Regulations. Here are some options for responsibly donating, recycling, and buying clothing and other textiles.

Donating and Recycling Used Clothing & Textiles

Accepts usable clothing only:

  • Christ Church Thrift Shoppe – 6 Lothrop Street
  • Plymouth Recovery Center – 5 Main Street Extension
  • Savers – 10 Pilgrim Hill Road
  • Plymouth Area Coalition for the Homeless – Family and Individual Resource (FAIR) Program – 149 Bishop’s Highway, Kingston (call first 781-582-2010)
  • Vineyard Church – Careworks Vineyard Resource Center – 41 Pottle Street, Kingston

Accepts textiles for recycling in addition to usable clothing:

  • Bay State Textiles donation boxes at Plymouth Public Schools and Manomet Transfer Station (Accepts clothing, linens, and other textiles as well as footwear, handbags, pillows, and stuffed animals. Donates funds to schools for every ton recycled.)
  • Planet Aid donation boxes – 700 State Road
  • Goodwill donation boxes – 250 Beaver Dam Road (Manomet Transfer Station)
  • Salvation Army donation boxes – 52 Long Pond Road and 250 Beaver Dam Road (Manomet Transfer Station)

Check out this fantastic slide deck from when Baystate Textiles presented at a Sustainable Plymouth meeting about textile recycling: Baystate Textiles Sustainable Plymouth Presentation

MATTRESSESS ARE NOW BANNED FROM DISPOSAL IN TRASH AS OF 11/1/2022 (More info)

How can I find a convenient outlet to recycle my mattress?

    • If you buy a new mattress, most stores will remove and dispose of your old one for a
      reasonable fee.
    •  You can contact the South Shore Recycling Collaborative at : https://ssrcoop.info/ – they have held periodic collections of mattresses at a reduced rate.
    • Mattresses are taken at the Hard to Manage Waste Facility located directly adjacent to the Transfer Station at 354 Beaver Dam Road. The fee is $75 plus weight is the cost of disposal.
    • You may also want to visit MassDEP’s mattress recycling webpage: HERE
    • You could search MassDEP’s Beyond the Bin recycling directory for organizations near you that accept mattresses for donation and reuse: https://tinyurl.com/massbtb
    • Finally, you can search for cleanout companies near you that may collect materials such as mattresses.

Responsible Buying

Plymouth Area “Refillery” locations:

A refillery is a retail store designed to help you reduce your single-use plastic consumption by offering the option to reuse and refill your own containers again and again with household and personal care products.

Second-hand Clothing Shops in Plymouth Area:

Sells gently used men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing as well as housewares

Baby and children’s clothing and toys resale boutique supporting young pregnant and parenting mothers and their babies

  • Savers – 10 Pilgrim Hill Road

Sells used men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing as well as housewares

Consignment shop for gently worn women’s clothing & accessories

Upscale women’s resale boutique selling clothing & accessories (as well as home décor, small furniture, artisan crafts, and art)

  • 3 Sisters Consignments – 2289 State Road
  • Joanne’s Second Chance Consignment Shop – 10 Saint Margaret’s Street, Buzzards Bay
  • The Gallery Consignment Shoppe – 247 Main Street, Wareham
  • My Fair Lady Consignment Boutique – 119 Wareham Road, Marion

Second-hand Clothing Apps:

  • Letgo
  • Mercari
  • Poshmark
  • Thredup
  • Vinted

Alternatives to Buying:

Shopping Guides

Home Green Guide – Thank you to Ms. Platt, Jessica, Jocelyn, Adam and Madalyn all the way from Alabama for this resource suggestion 🙂

Guide to Shopping Green – Thank you Amelia & Ms. Pedersen from StudyMAP for sharing this fantastic resource!

Pollinators, Gardening and Habitat Resources

We are sharing some links below to help you learn more about local native plants to our region as well as how you can help support our insects and pollinators on which our food-web and ecosystem depend. Also included below are some resources to help with identifying food growing naturally around you and learning to grow plants in a sustainable way.

SEMPBA has shared their native plant guide with us.  See it here.  Thanks SEMPBA!

Check out this guide from Native Seeds/S.E.A.R.C.H. for how to grow a Three Sisters (companion planting) garden.

This link from WildEdible.com contains material to help you identify wild food sources.

Visit this link to FreePermaculture.com for a free full Permaculture course offered by Permaculture Women’s Guild.  Permaculture is a regenerative system designed by observing Nature and Indigenous ways of agriculture.  It has 3 main principles: Earth Care, People Care, Future Care.

This link to SARE.org leads to A Free Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers and Conservationists.

Plymouth Office of Planning & Development: Plymouth Pollinator Protection Plan

MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources: Choosing Pollinator-Friendly Native Plants in Home Gardening or Landscaping

Mass Audubon: Plant a Native Pollinator Garden

Plant THIS not THAT (Blue Stem Natives – MA natives) – Visual resource of 21 commonly planted but non-native plants, you click on the image and see list of comparable looking native alternatives

Pollinator Pathway website

Ohio State University Pollinator Habitat 101 – free recordings & resources

MA Office of Coastal Zone Management

Wampanoag Horticultural Practices in an English Garden

What is Backyard Permaculture? Sustainable Plymouth PowerPoint

Check out this informative presentation, “Diversify Your Lawn” put on by the Plymouth Public Library!

Open Space

The Plymouth Open Space Committee put together this fantastic guide of trails throughout town conservation land: https://www.plymouth-ma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3691/f/uploads/2022plymouth_trail_guide.pdf

Check out the Pine Hills Area Trail System project here: https://www.phats.info/

Learn more about the great work Save the Pine Barrens is doing with their Community Land & Water Coalition: https://savethepinebarrens.org/

Hiking Trails along Fields and Forests above  the Plymouth / Carver Aquifer: Plymouth Aquifer Hiking

Save Our Bay

Learn more about the Save Our Bay initiative here: https://www.saveourbayma.com/

Climate Resiliency Educational Resources

Sustainable Plymouth’s Webinar on the IPCC report and climate action locally Link to Webinar

Understanding Coastal Sea Level Rise, by Sara P Grady, Ph.D. Link to Presentation

For more information on sea level rise visit Climate Central https://sealevel.climatecentral.org/

Visit Project Drawdown for educational resources, such as this video on Climate Change https://www.drawdown.org/climate-solutions-101/unit-2-how-to-stop-climate-change

Three times the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is stored in soil. Composting helps to sequester carbon. For a short video see here: “The Compost Story” by Kiss The Ground

Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy

Sign up for a no-cost Energy Assessment through MassSave here: https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/

If you are not on Plymouth’s money-saving municipal aggregation program, you’re paying way too much for your electricity! Learn about the Community Choice Power Supply Program explains Plymouth’s money-saving municipal aggregation program and option to choose 100% renewable energy for your electricity supply for just pennies more a month.

Energy Switch Massachusetts This MA Dept. of Public Utilities site lists all electricity supply options for Plymouth residents and small businesses.

MA Clean Energy Center: Massachusetts Residential Guide to Solar Energy

MA Clean Energy Center: Massachusetts Commercial Solar: How It Works & Available Incentives

For a webinar hosted by Sustainable Plymouth, featuring Phil Angell, that goes over details on switching to renewable energy see here:

Water Conservation

We’ve created the below graphic to help inform the community as to ways we can conserve water.  Feel free to share it.

For more suggestions click here: https://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/

Civic Engagement

Sustainable Plymouth has put together a one page document with links to help Plymouth residents reach their elected officials, as well as town departments, boards and committees.

Please click the link below to view the video from the Plymouth Area LWV on how to run for office.  Thank you to the LWV for giving us permission to share their video!

Plymouth Area League of Women Voters presents “How to Run for Office” Forum. Copyright PACTV. Many Thanks to PACTV for videoing, editing, airing and providing this video to share. We hope you find it informative.

Climate and Decarbonization Resources

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has completed its Decarbonization Roadmap.

See the plan here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/ma-2050-decarbonization-roadmap/download

Find the Town of Plymouth Planning Board’s Climate Resources (including

Climate Ready Healthy Plymouth Report) here:

https://www.plymouth-ma.gov/planning-development/pages/climate-change-municipal-vulnerability-preparedness

See Plymouth Open Space Committee’s Climate Change Resiliency Addendum here:  https://www.plymouth-ma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3691/f/uploads/jan_11_2021_plan_final.pdf