In 2008, your Florida legislators voted to take away the ability of your city to ban plastic bags and polystyrene foam foodware. This is called “home rule”.
This good bill would restore home rule to local governments, who could then decide whether or not they want to ban single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam foodware.
Please take a moment to contact your local legislators and ask them to co-sponsor this bill.
Your email can look something like this:
“Good [morning, afternoon, evening],
My name is [insert your name here] and I live at [insert your address here]. I am requesting that you co-sponsor “Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials” (SB 594/HB 6027). [Here is where you explain your perspective on polystyrene and plastic pollution in your city and along your beaches, and why you want to see a ban on these products in your city. Feel fee to attach photos/videos that you’ve taken, too.]
[Your name and contact info]
Although these talking points will help you craft your emails, they should not be the only words you send. Decision makers don’t want to hear the same points over and over. A variety of perspectives is key to getting our issue front and center.
- EPS foam litter is a global and local issue. (Possibly talk about some of the global issues, such as the ocean turning into a plastic soup, but be sure to bring it back to why action is needed locally.)
- EPS foam does not biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact wildlife when littered – in addition to being an eyesore, costing taxpayer dollars to pick up and disproportionally filling up landfills.
- EPS foam is typically made from non-renewable fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals that may leach out over time, especially if in contact with hot, greasy or acidic food.
- Although inexpensive to buy, EPS can be expensive to clean up. Since they are so inexpensive, polystyrene products are often thrown away or littered after a single use. Many municipalities that have to comply with storm water regulations limiting trash in waterways have already spent substantial taxpayer dollars trying to control, capture, and remove trash, including EPS.
- EPS recycling is often not economical, so most of it gets landfilled or littered. Very few communities have access to polystyrene recycling. This form of plastic pollution should be addressed at the source instead of relying on more trashcans and ‘end of the pipe’ solutions of capturing and removing litter.
- There is concern regarding human health impacts. Research published in 2014 describes how polystyrene debris polluting Hawaii’s beaches breaks down into the monomer styrene, a suspected human carcinogen.
Your subject line of your email is another place you want to be sure to use unique wording. Most of the group emails or petitions that are sent with the exact same subject line are marked as spam and moved out of the decision maker’s inbox. Yes, 1 or 2 emojis are ok to use.
- Our oceans are turning into plastic soup. We must act now!
- Keep plastic pollution out of our environment.
- Ban polystyrene products from all city property.
- Please be a leader in keeping our oceans plastic-free.
- Protect our natural areas from polystyrene pollution.
- Be an ocean champion and ban polystyrene.