Great news out of Annapolis on Tuesday. The Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval of SB200 to ban the sale of personal care products that include plastic microbeads. Our friends at Trash Free Maryland, who led the charge on this bill, summarizes next steps:
The final Senate vote is expected this week. The House is still working on similar legislation. Click here to find your state representatives and call them to ask them to support SB200 and HB216 with amendments to close the loophole for bioplastics.
Meanwhile, what should you do with products you may already have? Check your bathroom cabinets for products that include polyethylene or polypropylene and stop using them. You can send the unused product to us (email me for info) or to The Story of Stuff Project for demonstration and education projects.
Bravo, Trash Free Maryland! Thanks to all our members and supporters who contacted their Maryland state senator to show support for the bill!
This afternoon, the D.C. City Council unanimously voted to pass a bill that bans D.C. eateries from using expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, also known as Styrofoam. This bill affects our rivers because one in every four pieces of trash collected from D.C. rivers is EPS foam.
*THANK YOU* to all of our members and supporters for your help in this campaign, including everyone who contacted their councilmember to express support for this bill. We also want to thank the City Councilmembers for their votes in support of this bill. If you’d like to tweet a thank you to your councilmember for their vote in support of this bill, visit the updated banthefoam.org.
Banning EPS foam at the source will prevent it from harming our beautiful, local rivers.
Speaking of our beautiful local rivers, if you want to enjoy one of those rivers tomorrow (Tuesday, July 15), we’re having an after-work paddle at 6:15pm (weather permitting)…come join us and celebrate this epic victory! Details (and weather updates) here.
The bill must still be signed by the mayor and approved by Congress, but we are hopeful that both steps will be met without resistance. Nonetheless, we are watching to ensure both steps are completed and the bill becomes law.
The DC Chapter worked in coalition with a number of excellent organizations in the D.C. area to support the passage of this bill. We want to take this opportunity to thank them: DC chapter of the Sierra Club, Trash Free Maryland, D.C. Environmental Network, Institute of Local Self-Reliance, Energy Justice Network, Alice Ferguson Foundation, Anacostia Watershed Society, Clean Water Action, Anacostia Riverkeeper and Sustainable Community Initiatives.
Not all river wildlife is natural.
A quarter of trash collected from D.C. rivers is expanded polystyrene foam (often known as Styrofoam). Let’s make it zero.
The D.C. Council votes Monday morning on a bill to ban EPS foam from food service businesses, like restaurants, cafes, delis, coffee shops, vending trucks/carts, and food trucks. Banning it at the source prevents it from reaching our rivers. We need your tweets to tell the DC council that this bill needs to pass for the protection of our DC rivers.
Visit banthefoam.org and tweet your councilmember to ban the foam. Every tweet makes a difference…yes, even yours.
The D.C. Council is planning to vote this Tuesday at 10am on the D.C. Omnibus Act that would ban food service businesses from using expanded polystyrene foam.
Please contact your D.C. Council member and tell them you support the bill that will help keep our rivers clean from foam trash!
Visit banthefoam.org for more information.
DC chapter members, here’s the deal: we’re not planning a location-specific cleanup this month, but we still want to take part in Surfrider’s RAPtober month of rising above plastics, so we’ve decided to hold a distributed, virtual cleanup! Here’s how we’d like you to help out:
(1) While you’re out on the water, at the beach, or running errands today, pick up at least two pieces of plastic litter to throw away, but don’t throw it out yet!
(2) Take a quick pic of the trash with your mobile device.
(3) Post the photo to either Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #raptober and mention @surfriderdc.
(4) Ok, now throw it out (or recycle, if possible).
At the end of the month, we’ll collect all those images uploaded and create a digital collage of the trash collected. If you don’t have an Instagram or Twitter account and don’t want to set one up, just email your picture to email@example.com and we’ll make sure it gets into the right hands.
Here’s an example of a chapter member posting their findings to Instagram, with the comment: “I went kayaking on the Anacostia today and picked up all of this just floating by me. Perfect timing for #raptober @surfriderdc”
Have fun with this! It’s virtual…and distributed…and helps clean up your local waters/community!