FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2019
Contact: Peter Nierengarten
Director, Sustainability & Resilience
City of Fayetteville Invites Public Input on Possible Regulation of Single-Use Plastics
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark— On June 4, The Fayetteville City Council passed a resolution expressing the intention of the Council to consider regulation of single-use plastic shopping bags and difficult-to-recycle-or-compost single-use plates, bowls, cups and utensils. The resolution asked that Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and City staff work with the Environmental Action Committee and others to study the issue and identify potential alternatives to single-use plastics.
As part of this study, the City is encouraging the public—both individual Fayetteville residents/visitors and business owners/operators—to provide input regarding use of these plastics and to weigh in on possible ways of cutting back on them. Surveys for individuals and businesses are available now on Speak Up Fayetteville, the City’s public engagement portal, at fayetteville-ar.gov/speakup.
The study will look into the feasibility of a citywide ban on single-use plastic tableware and/or a fee of 5 or 10 cents charged to customers for each plastic bag used at check-out. The idea is to encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags when shopping, and for businesses to seek compostable alternatives to plastic take-out containers and tableware.
“Single-use plastics are a major source of litter in our community,” said Peter Nierengarten, Environmental Director for the City of Fayetteville. “During a recent cleanup of Town Branch Creek, volunteers found that plastic and Styrofoam™ made up 26 percent by volume of the total litter collected.” Nierengarten also cited a national study that found 25 to 35 percent by volume of landfills nationwide are made up of Polystyrene / Styrofoam™ materials.
In May, as an initial step toward reducing the overall amount of single-use materials, the City Council passed an ordinance banning the purchase of Polystyrene foam / Styrofoam™ products with City monies.
Additional information about the study, including “The Real Cost of Styrofoam,” a 2016 report prepared by Saint Louis University detailing the economic, environmental and health impacts of Polystyrene / Styrofoam™, is available on the City’s Speak Up Fayetteville website.