Wednesday, October 23, 2019

GL of California Committee on Social Responsibility bans plastic straws, plates, utensils

San Francisco, CA -- Citing a need for Freemasons to become more socially and environmentally conscious, the Grand Lodge of California announced this week that beginning in 2020, lodge buildings were no longer allowed to have single use plastic straws, utensils, or plastic or foam plates.

"Yes, we expect some pushback, but as Freemasons, we believe that it's our social responsibility to be at the forefront of social change," said RWB Craigg Wall, chair of the newly formed Committee on Social Responsibility. "There's no reason for lodges to have dinners on paper or styrofoam plates and just toss them out after one use. After 2020, lodges will have to decide whether or not to use china and install a dishwasher, or will have to find some other way to have dinners, festive boards, and table lodges."
Festive boards in California will no longer be allowed to use
plastic tableware after 2020.

The Past Bastard contacted RWB Wall, and asked if he thought that the increased use of water and energy to clean the dishes didn't offset the amount of plastic and waste disposal.

"We think that at first, there will be some adjustment," he told us, "but we also expect that as some lodges -- especially the larger ones -- get tired of washing dishes every week, that more of them will opt to have festive boards at neighborhood cafes and restaurants. Or they can have a food truck stop by after the meeting, which will help support the local economy."

The Past Bastard also noted that the Committee on Social Responsibility did not seem have a ban on plastic cups, leading us to wonder if this was an oversight, or if the Grand Lodge was getting some kind of kickback from the industry. Inquiries to the CSR on that point have remained unanswered.


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