COLORADO SPRINGS — According to Environment Colorado, a non-profit that works to bring awareness of climate change in our state, Coloradans throw out 1 million Styrofoam cups alone daily. Wildlife, ecosystems, and waterways are all directly affected by plastic pollution.
Videos and photos have shown animals eating plastic, mistaking it as food because the of large amounts covering the ground and waterways. But what is most important is to recognize the lifespan of simple plastics, like a plastic bag, is less than 20 minutes. So, how do we solve this issue?
I spoke with Jeff Gold, CEO, and founder of Nexus, the leading circular waste-plastics solution company. Nexus has taken nearly 4 million pounds of landfill-bound plastics and repurposed them. This company works hard to convert them back into their original form to easily create new, reusable plastics.
Jeff has spent the past 40 years studying environmental science and searching for solutions to our environmental crisis. He says the ability to do this is the future because plastic is here to stay in our society. Jeff says we have enough plastic above ground, and we need to look at the material as a resource that’s reusable.
“By creating a solution, like we’ve done, and like a magnet, take in more and more of this material, and the more people that understand that and know that there is a solution, out there to take tis material, we feel that more people will become attuned to that idea and handle that plastic in a way that it can be recycled,” said Gold.
“We’re trying to make it so that that is not a desirable outcome to just throw it out but actually treat it as a resource and that’s going to take education, it’s going to take time, and it’s going to take the availability of a solution like ours to take it and be able to handle it in a responsible way.”
Gov. Polis signed into law this past summer House Bill 21-1162, otherwise known as the Plastic Reduction Act. The law bans Styrofoam at large stores and restaurants, starting in 2024. Jeff tells me although his company repurposes these bags, he’s happy Colorado is taking these steps. Jeff says to combat climate change, no one can be greedy and if anything, this ban will raise awareness where needed.
Jeff says he’s dedicated four decades of his life to finding a solution to plastic, and he thinks Colorado is above the curve as a state. But as a country, he wants America to work as a leader because he’s afraid climate change will leave a lasting impact on future generations.