ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday, shoppers with signs returned plastic packaging waste from Market 32, in an effort to highlight the urgent need for a packaging reduction act in the state legislature. Organizers said excessive single-use plastic packaging is a growing global environmental crisis.

Local residents displayed single-use plastic packaging in front of Market 32 and delivered a letter urging Market 32’s CEO, Frank Curci, to commit to phasing out plastic packaging. This action is part of the global Plastic-Free July campaign to reduce plastic.

According to the US Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA), containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste (MSW) which amounted to 82.2 million tons of generation in 2018. Plastic packaging is used to wrap or protect goods, including food, beverages, medications, and cosmetic products, in addition to shipping and storage.