Turning the tide on plastic pollution


It’s clear we have a plastic problem. Over the past six decades, we’ve produced more than 9 billion tons of the stuff. What wasn’t burned in incinerators now clogs our landfills or has washed into our waterways where it continues to harm wildlife.

So this summer, PennEnvironment launched a campaign calling for a statewide ban on one of the worst forms of plastic: polystyrene foam cups and containers -- what many of us call Styrofoam.

In a few short months, our staff spoke with more than 45,000 Pennsylvanians about our effort and collected nearly 20,000 petition signatures calling on state officials to ban polystyrene food containers. We also hosted a river cleanup at Philadelphia’s Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, where dozens of concerned citizens came out to support our effort.

Our work is starting to pay off: State Rep. Tim Briggs (Montgomery County) introduced legislation to ban single-use polystyrene products. Now, we’re building support for this proposal and increasing legislative cosponsors.

Read more here.
Photo: Jess Bellwoar holding polystyrene retrieved from the clean up we hosted at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Staff.