Clean Fairfax joined us for a webinar about reducing plastic use at farmers markets. “Getting to Greener: How Markets Can Get to Plastic-Free” is a very timely topic and one that has garnered a good bit of interest.
Below you will find links to the webinar recording, the presentation and additional resources recommended by the presenters.
About the Webinar
Jennifer Cole and Zach Huntington of Clean Fairfax share products and programs that markets and farmers can use instead of single use plastics. They also discuss how markets can promote their sustainability to reach new customers.
View the Webinar Recording on YouTube
View the presentation (pdf)
About the Presenters
Jennifer Cole has been the Executive Director for Clean Fairfax since January 2009. She served as the President of the Virginia Council on Litter Prevention and Recycling, she’s a member of the Beekeepers Association of Northern Virginia, the Virginia Recycling Association, and serves on the County’s Trash Team. Before moving to Northern Virginia, Jen worked in Providence, Rhode Island developing and managing urban agriculture and community gardens, community forestry, and advocacy via environmental law.
Zach Huntington is the Clean Streams Program Manager for Clean Fairfax. He is a Virginia native and lifelong outdoorsman with a passion for clean water. He received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a concentration in Natural Resources and Conservation and is currently pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Environmental Compliance and Sustainability.
After the webinar Zach sent us the insights and resources below …
The cheapest wholesale biodegradable bag that I’m aware of is $0.048 per bag, available through Good Start Packaging
And another available for $0.06
BioBag, which is compostable, does occasionally offer bulk pricing discounts for farmers market- and I heard on the webinar yesterday that they are currently offering the discount, but vendors/markets would need to contact them directly for pricing.
It is important to add, that even biodegradable bags can take years to breakdown and in a landfill they will be preserved. So, it is critical that when these bags are used at a market, conversations with customers continue to stress the importance of using reusable bags because the ultimate goal is to create a circular economy.
- The USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program offers grants to increase domestic consumption and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products. The grants are intended to approve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.
- Farm Credit is a nationwide network that is known for lending but also supports farmers markets through their grant program with markets receive $500-5,000.
- This link provides information on plastic reduction grants
- And of course, use the grant resources VAFMA provides!
The Plastic Solutions Fund does not offer grants themselves but they can be a good place to go to get connected with funding opportunities.