Steamboat Resort announced that they will stop selling single-use plastic bottles starting in the 2021-2022 winter season in their latest move to become a more sustainable brand, company, and town. Whether in the form of water, an energy drink, or soda, plastic bottles have deteriorating effects on local, national, and international environments. Every year in the United States, millions of tons of plastic are thrown away, and millions more are littered, so by addressing the root cause of the problem and banning the sale of single-use plastics, Steamboat Resort hopes to be a template for and inspire other large businesses to contribute to an important environmental cause.
According to their local government:
“In Steamboat Springs, 3.8 million single-use plastic bags are used yearly by shoppers… Many of these bags end up as litter in our rivers, forests and rural landscapes.”
Being a mountain town with precious flora and fauna, the city of Steamboat has introduced a variety of sustainable measures over the past decade. Local ordinances, including Ordinance 2789, ban most grocers and markets from providing their customers with single-use plastic bags. Additionally, other programs in Steamboat are focused on providing residents and businesses with bear-resistant garbage containers, installing solar panels and car charging stations throughout town, conserving water and other energy, and managing the Yampa River.
Steamboat Springs, CO, is known for its skiing, mountains, wildlife, and the fantastic town itself. It is important to note the work that their local government is focusing on regarding single-use plastics and other sustainable initiatives because it can be applied worldwide. Although these bans, ordinances, and programs seem microscopic in the bigger picture, when a town like Steamboat takes matters into its own hands, they encourage other small communities and businesses to do the same.