Did you know that the amount of plastic recycled in the U.S. decreased from 9 percent in 2018 to less than 6 percent in 2021? Plastic is made from raw materials obtained by fracking, it pollutes our environment, and it’s become so ubiquitous that researchers have even found microplastic in human fetuses.

At a program called “How Can I Become More Plastic Free?” on Tuesday, September 13, Shirley Freriks will offer solutions for reducing and avoiding plastic waste. Presented by the Citizens Environmental Council, it will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Maple Meeting Room at the new Burlingame Community Center, 850 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame. Admission is free, but preregistration is required here.

Freriks, a strong advocate for recycling since the early 1990s, will suggest ways people reduce their own plastic usage, as well as inspire others in their community to do so. Following her presentation, Alexandra Rinear of Recology will explain how to make sure plastic gets recycled and doesn’t wind up in landfill, Laura Porter of Byrd’s Filling Station in San Mateo will promote shopping without using plastic, and Karen Noryko of Ridwell will introduce a service that picks up plastic for recycling from front porches. Ridwell is inviting each attendee to bring one bag of plastic film they would like to recycle at no cost; types accepted are described here.

​The City of Burlingame offers bins for recycling clean plastic film at the main Burlingame Public Library at 480 Primrose Road and City Hall at 501 Primrose Road. Plastic film may also be dropped off at the Safeway store at 1450 Howard Avenue. Plastic film includes soft plastic such as bubble wrap, plastic bags, plastic shipping envelopes, cereal bags, bread bags, etc. Plastic that cannot be stretched, such as candy wrappers, hard plastic, and salad bags, is not acceptable.

The Citizens Environmental Council’s mission is to champion regional sustainability through education, advocate for environmental and climate policies, and empower young environmental leaders. For more information, visit cecburlingame.org or email info@cecburlingame.org.