Plastic Bag, Polystyrene Food Container Bans

For the health of the environment and the health of Wayland residents there are two articles for April town meeting that you should know about.

  1. The first is a bylaw that will ban thin film single-use plastic checkout bags from stores and restaurants. Bag litter detracts from Wayland’s natural beauty, and is harmful to wildlife. Plastic bags are difficult to dispose of. They cannot be part of single stream recycling, and moreover only 5 -10% are recycled today. They end up in the environment. The bylaw does not restrict other uses of plastic bags such as for newspapers, dry cleaning, and produce bags within a grocery store.
  2. The second article is a bylaw that will eliminate the use of polystyrene for food and beverage containers. There are both foam forms and rigid forms. Styrofoam is the Dow Chemical trademark name for the foam form. The rigid form is commonly used for service items such as straws, lids and utensils. Polystyrene is the only plastic used in food packaging that is based on a carcinogen. The foam form is light and breakable and is easily released into the environment where it lasts for thousands of years, damaging wildlife.

So far, these articles have been endorsed by the Wayland Conservation Commission, Surface Water Quality Committee, Massachusetts Sierra Club, Mass Audubon, Transition Wayland  (if your organization wants to endorse, let us know)

For both plastic bags and polystyrene, why are we taking fossil fuels that need millions of years to create, turn them into an item that is used for a few minutes and can then damage the environment for a 1000 years? Please learn more about the proposed bylaws here and then vote YES to both at town meeting beginning on April 2nd.

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