The Arlington Green Party, along with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, and the Mt. Vernon chapter of the Sierra club are holding an important public forum about ending the use of plastic bags and styrofoam boxes/containers at local retail businesses and restaurants.
Plastic bags and styrofoam containers are an ongoing pollution threat to our local, regional, and national environment. Discussion about the impact of this pollution, and sensible real-world solutions will be featured at this forum.
Full info on this event, open to the public:
Public Panel and Discussion on Plastic Bags and Styrofoam Used in Arlington Supermarkets and Retail Stores: April 3, 2011, 4 PM, Arlington Central Library Auditorium
The Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE), the Arlington Green Party (AGP), and the Mt. Vernon Chapter of the Sierra Club are co-sponsoring a panel discussion at Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Sunday, Sunday, April 3, on banning the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam from Arlington County retail stores and restaurants. Whole Foods and Ted’s Montana Grill Restaurant, two businesses that use alternatives to single use nonbiodegradable plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers, will discuss alternatives.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 300 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. annually, including about 100 billion single use plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers $4 billion each year.
Plastic bags are not biodegradable, but ultimately break into small toxic particles that end up in the world’s oceans and marine life. Similarly, Styrofoam is a plastic product that is not biodegradable, cannot be recycled, and ends up in solid waste, or spews toxics into the air when incinerated. Styrofoam and plastic bags are among the most commonly found contaminants in the world’s oceans, streams and lakes.
In early 2010, the District of Columbia imposed a 5 cent per bag tax on plastic bags given away at many retail stores. The tax reduced the number of plastic bags used in retail stores in DC from 22 million monthly during 2009 to 3 million bags used in January 2011, according to press reports. This represents an 80 percent reduction in plastic bags potentially ending up in the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
The panel will be held at the Arlington County Central Library auditorium starting at 4 PM; light refreshments will be served and all are welcomed and attendance is free.