Target: Washington D.C. Mayor, Vincent C. Gray
Goal: Thank Washington D.C. for banning the use of plastic foam containers, a known contributor to climate change
Restaurants and coffee shops in America’s capital city will no longer be able to use plastic foam food and drink containers. Washington D.C. lawmakers recently voted to ban the use of disposable containers made from the Styrofoam brand material by the year 2016. Recycling centers can’t process the plastic foam material when it is soaked with food, leaving it to slowly degrade in landfills–a process which can take as long as one million years.
Although the plastics industry has stated that the foam ban places a costly burden on consumers and businesses, environmental activists say that in the long run the ban will help save our health and our environment. Styrofoam breaks down into small particles that end up hurting fish and other animals who mistakenly eat them. With the help of environmental activists and advocates, many restaurants across the country have stopped or are planning to stop using Styrofoam. Cities such as San Francisco, New York and Seattle have already banned the use of plastic foam containers by adopting more eco-friendly alternatives.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans throws away billions of plastic foam cups and food containers every year. Only nine percent of this plastic waste is recyclable, so most discarded containers are sent to landfills where they linger for thousands of generations. Even the manufacturing process for Styrofoam is bad for the environment, requiring the use of chemicals known to break down the ozone layer and contribute to climate change.
This ban is a huge victory for citizens of Washington, D.C., and indeed for the planet. Thank Mayor Gray for initiating a plastic foam container ban in his city.
Dear Mayor Gray,
Plastic foam cups and containers have proven to be a huge problem for the environment, humans and other animals. They take up landfill space because they typically can’t be recycled, and billions of containers are thrown out by Americans every year. Styrofoam is known to be not only harmful to human health and the environment, but to break up into little pieces that choke unsuspecting wild animals who try to eat food-soaked containers.
Washington, D.C. is joining cities like San Francisco and Seattle that have successfully banned the use of Styrofoam food and beverage containers. Although the plastics industry is trying to combat the ban by claiming it burdens consumers and businesses with added expense, the benefits of this ban far outweigh the costs. Thank you for taking initiative and bringing this issue before the district council.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: John Phelan via Wikimedia Commons