When waste isn’t properly disposed of, it pollutes our streets and our waterways.

As residents of a coastal city, we’re responsible for the waste that ends up in our ocean. But we also have the chance to be part of the solution.

That’s why the New England Aquarium is proud to be partnering with the City of Boston on the Zero Waste Boston initiative.

Boston, Your Zero Waste City

“Plastic waste is quite literally choking our ocean,” said New England Aquarium President and CEO Vikki Spruill. “Billions and billions of pounds of trash end up in our coastal waters every year.”

Boston is a city that’s tied to the ocean. Our culture, our economy, and our lives are all linked to our blue backyard. That’s why, as residents of Boston, it’s up to all of us to help build a zero waste city.

So what does zero waste really mean?

Zero waste means “reducing, repairing, and reusing the materials in our lives.”

To put it simply: It means making thoughtful choices about how much we’re consuming and learning if a certain object should be reused, repaired, donated, composted, recycled, or put in the trash.

“You hear it in the classroom, you hear it on the streets, you hear it everywhere. People want to address the plastic pollution problem—and Boston is doing that,” said Kara Dodge, Ph.D., a sea turtle ecologist at the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life.

More information from the City of Boston: 

Boston’s first-ever zero waste plan, designed to move Boston toward becoming a zero waste city, was released in June 2019. This plan includes near- and long-term strategies for reducing waste in the city. Key pieces of the plan include expanding Boston’s composting program, increasing access to recycling opportunities, and launching a city-wide education campaign on recycling. 

The city has already begun implementing the zero waste strategy, but we can’t do it without you. This vision centers around residents taking bold actions to reduce waste by buying less, reusing, and recycling right.  

A Climate-Smart Guide

“Like many cities, in Boston, our greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, transportation, and waste. This means that the homes we live in, the places we work, and how we move between them hold great opportunity for all of us to take action on climate change,” said Peyton Siler Jones, Greenovate Boston’s Communications Manager.

The city has released a helpful guide for Boston residents to learn what they can do to take action on climate. Many of the energy efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable transportation actions laid out in this resource can be taken taken at home, at school, at work, and around town. Follow the guide and take steps to help Boston become zero waste and climate resilient!

sustainability at new england aquarium