Our mission is to reduce plastic production, consumption, and waste as much as possible by working with brand owners, retailers, and consumers towards better plastic-related choices. In addition to our own initiatives, we also aim to assist city officials, recyclers, and other nonprofit organizations that have complimentary activities.
Our flagship initiative is Restaurant Rescue, which has two parts. We crowdsource data on local area restaurants using an app. Users tap in observed non-sustainable practices (think: plasticware instead of silverware, single-use cups, and anything Styrofoam). Each review generates plastic offset credits whereby plastic is removed from the environment. Reviews also help diners make more informed choices about where they want to eat, allowing individuals to vote with their pocketbooks for sustainability. Longer term, the data collected is expected to inform public policy and serve as a basis for research conducted at UT and elsewhere.
In the second part, volunteers work to implement better practices in restaurants by offering free consultations on how to profitably go green. Volunteers assist the client in accessing City support programs, help them better understand the savings generated by reuse, and provide a more complete picture of financial benefits offsetting implementation costs.
Plastic Reduction Project was founded in early 2022. As such, we are very much in a growth phase. In addition to helping expand Plastic Reduction Project’s impact in the community, the Intern will be part of a start-up environment, providing experience that will be valuable to him or her later in life when starting his own business or founding her own nonprofit. Our website is: www.PlasticReductionProject.org.
A work/learning plan will be jointly established with the intern(s) by selecting from the following areas based on the skills and interests of the intern and the needs of the organization at the time:
- AISD – Plastic Reduction Project would like to either establish chapters in local high schools or work with/speak to existing younger student environmental groups.
- Students for Sustainability – Develop joint events with UT and St. Edward’s student groups.
- Other Universities – Establish linkages with ACC, Huston-Tillotson, and Concordia student groups, Office of Sustainability, and professors
- Reviews and Consultations – Participate in the Restaurant Rescue initiatives, using the experience to suggest adjustments to the program, to app features, support materials, etc.
- Corporate Governance – Gain familiarity with corporate documents, Bylaws, filing requirements, budgeting, etc. Note: assistance is not needed in these areas but is for rounding-out knowledge if the Intern(s) have an interest in managing a nonprofits in the future.
- Social Media – Building social media content, developing campaigns, and otherwise assisting in boosting awareness. Also assist in recruiting social media Ambassadors.
- Corporate Giving Programs – As an example, Applied Materials has four programs: they make grants, match employee donations up to $3,000, will donate $100 for every 10 hours of logged employee volunteer time, and they have a volunteer campaign in April of each year. Identify similar programs, reach out to get PRP set up as a participant, and boost employee awareness.
- Amplify Austin – An annual fundraising drive put on by I Live Here I Give Here. Assist Fundraising Champions in getting their pages set up and otherwise support their fundraising efforts.
- Fact Sheet – Using sources from Austin Resource Recovery, Balcones Resources, Keep Austin Beautiful, and elsewhere, develop a footnoted fact sheet on local plastic usage, waste, and litter. This would, in turn, be used in speaking engagements at area schools and for public awareness on the need to stem the tide of plastics.
- Community Outreach – Help with outreach to new community groups, particularly BIPOC organizations, to explore ways of working together.
- Website – Brainstorm ideas on ways to improve user experience and add content; possibly also develop online training delivered through the website.
- Research Grants – Identify local and national grant providers that might be a good fit for Plastic Reduction Project. Round up contact details into a document for future use.
- Case Studies – Develop write-ups that highlight useful aspects of implementations. Such case studies will, in turn, become resource materials for our Consultants and provide tangible examples to other restaurant owners/managers
- Events – Help to put on events such as Restaurant Blitz, potluck delivery night, and monthly gatherings where volunteers can cross-pollinate efforts and share best practices.
- Other – As identified by the Intern(s) based on individual interests.
Reach out to Sean Winn at Sean@PlasticReductionProject.org. We look forward to hearing from you.