March 1, 2014

Ban The Foam

Ban The Foam

The DC chapter is embarking on a campaign to further our goal of protecting our local rivers.  The Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013 is a bill that Mayor Gray submitted to the DC City Council and a section of the bill will help curb one of the most prevalent pieces of litter in our rivers: expanded polystyrene (also commonly known as styrofoam, EPS, or just foam).1  The Anacostia Watershed Society says that foam makes up a quarter of all trash it finds in the river.2 The proposed legislation could help reduce the amount of foam that ends up in our rivers by prohibiting food service businesses (e.g., restaurants) from selling and using any foam containers. Here’s how you can help:

Make Trash Foam Known: The first critical step in this campaign is public awareness: you can help us spread the word about this bill by taking pictures of foam that you see around the city and posting it to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with the hashtag #banthefoamdc.  We’ll also collect these pictures and use them to show the DC City Council how important this ban is to the environmental health of our local rivers and our city.  Here’s an example tweet from a fellow chapter member:

Foam-Free Businesses: You can also use the hashtag #foamfreedc if you visit a restaurant that isn’t using any foam and you want to applaud them for taking early steps to avoid this polluting material. We’ve been collecting these establishments and mapping them here: http://dc.surfrider.org/ban-the-foam/

Several other local organizations are joining us in our fight to have this bill passed by the DC City Council, including Trash Free Maryland, Anacostia Watershed Society, Alice Ferguson Foundation, and the Sierra Club.

We’ll have more updates on ways you can help in the coming weeks.  If you’re interested in helping with this campaign in any other way, such as reaching out to businesses that have already chose to avoid foam, send an email to our chair email address: chair@dc.surfrider.org.  Any help you can offer would be awesome!

Let’s make sure the only foam we see in the water is on the crest of a sweet, peeling left! #banthefoamdc

  1. Title IV, Subtitle A. []
  2. http://www.anacostiaws.org/programs/stewardship/monitoring/nash-run-trash-trap []

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