Residents of New York City are starting to see the benefits of a new plastic-free path they’re calling the Plastic Waste Path.
“It is the biggest public health initiative we have in New York,” said Stephanie Johnson, executive director of the nonprofit organization New Yorkers for a Green New York.
The path was developed by Johnson and her husband, John Johnson, who is also the mayor of New Rochelle.
They were inspired to create the program after seeing the negative effects of plastic on their city’s environment.
They found out that the city had an estimated 3 million tons of plastic littering the streets and were able to make an educated guess that an additional 2 million tons was thrown away annually.
They realized that waste generated by that trash is not only harmful to the environment but also contributes to obesity.
The plan is to start by building a 1.2 mile path that will go around the city and around five boroughs.
Then the plan is for the city to spend $100 million on the plastic-filled paths in the next 10 years.
“What we’ve learned from the work we’ve done in New Rochern, New York, is that there is no reason to have these plastic waste paths.
You don’t need a path to save money,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that this path will save $150,000 in trash disposal costs annually, but it will cost $20,000 more to have a plastic waste disposal facility up and running.
She said that the money they will save in these costs will go towards making sure that residents get the cleanest environment possible.
Johnson and her team are currently working with the city’s Waste Management Department to develop the plan, and she said the first phase of the path will be completed by next summer.