Sharing parallel goals, Dow and Keep West Baton Rouge Beautiful joined forces to pick up over 3,000 pounds of litter so far this year in the parish.
The two will team up again Saturday for the Hazardeous Materials Collection at Alexander Park in Brusly from 8 a.m. to noon.
Dow has long expressed a goal of doing a better job of capturing and reusing plastic by investing in collection, waste management, recycling technologies and new end markets.
That goal matches an important objective of Keep West Baton Rouge Beautiful, an objective described in its name.
Since the beginning of the year, the two entities have teamed up to clean up litter across West Baton Rouge, making a significant dent in reducing wasted plastic and making an important impact in cleaning up the parish’s roadsides.
“Everyone plays a role in keeping our environment clean from litter and debris,” says a press release from DOW. “What’s important to Dow is that we understand that our company and our industry must continue to play an important role in solving this critical issue.”
So last year, the company’s CEO, Jim Fitterling, challenged 5,000 of Dow’s employees to pick up 50,000 pounds of plastic at 50 different locations around the world.
“This year, he doubled the goal to 100 cleanups, 10,000 employees involved and 100,000 pounds” of plastic that otherwise would have been wasted, the company’s publicity says.
“Dow is leading the way in our industry by applying circular economy logic, collaborating across the value chain, innovating new products and through the commitment of our employees and customers to put an end to plastic waste in the environment,” Fitterling said.
“The plastics industry is at a critical tipping point,” added Diego Donoso, Dow’s `business president of Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.
In other words, Dow would ultimately like to see all of the plastic now being used in the world be recycled instead of ending up in the dump and wasted.
According to Dow, too much plastic is lost to wasted and entering the natural environment, a problem the company deems unacceptable.
“We believe plastics have an important place in our world but not in our environment,” according to Dow’s press release. “We must do a better job of capturing and reusing plastic by increasing investments in collection, waste management, recycling technologies.
To reach the goal the company set with its #PullingOurWeight program, Dow and it reached out locally to Keep West Baton Rouge Beautiful, headed by Director Darrell Guilbeau, who has expressed deep appreciation for the company’s support.
“I’m thankful that Keep West Baton Rouge Beautiful has the partnership it does with the great people of Dow,” he said.
“They make a huge difference in West Baton Rouge Parish and I look forward to continuously working with them on other projects in the future,” Guilbeau added.
“I think we take it for granted at times how valuable Dow and its employees are to West Baton Rouge Parish,” he said. “So often people are under the impression that the prison work release program can and should keep the parish clean and litter free.”
“The fact of the matter is, keeping the parish clean because the main problem is social behavior and people not caring and taking pride in the area in which they live,” Guilbeau continued.
The philosophy of Dow is to reverse that line of thinking, so the company started with its own employees.
“This year, we wanted to do more in WBR and Iberville parishes where we work and many of our employees live,” Dow’s publicity says. “Six of our 10 planned cleanups so far this year have been in West Baton Rouge—106 employees, contractors, family and friends picked up 3,530 pounds.”
Dow’s employees have been eager to get into the community to help make it a cleaner place and the #PullingOurWeight program has been Dow’s most frequently requested activity this year.
The company’s employees have so far spent 212 hours volunteering to clean up West Baton Rouge.