Help keep Hayward clean and green by participating in Plastic Free Summer

July 25, 2023

Plastics are used every day in Hayward, with an increased reliance during the summer when residents barbeque, picnic, and host celebrations. Unfortunately, most of this plastic is not recycled or even recyclable. According to Cal Matters, at least 85% of single-use plastic in California ends up in the landfill because they are unable to be recycled.  

Common plastics used during the summer include:

  • Disposable plastic cups
  • Single-use plastic silverware
  • Plastic-lined paper plates
  • Plastic straws

Despite most of these products having a recycling symbol, they cannot be recycled. Products like plastic cups and plastic silverware are made with plastic that is too thin, flimsy, and easily breakable, and must go in the trash. Most mixed materials, like plastic-lined paper plates, must also go into the trash because the wax or plastic residue that prevents the plate from soaking up liquids or grease cannot be separated from the paper in a recycling facility.  

Reduce purchases of single-use plastics this summer by replacing plastic items with reusables or compostables. If using compostables, make sure they are a paper-based product, as plastics labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” are not accepted in Hayward’s organics program.  

If you want to learn more, please visit the Plastic-Free July website, the City’s website, or email