Petition to ban Styrofoam circulating around Orlando
By Kaila Varano
ORLANDO, FL – A petition is circulating online via, Change.org, to ban Styrofoam within the city limits of Orlando. The ban would rid single use to-go boxes, Styrofoam cups or any other type of polystyrene foam.
Commissioner Eric Rollings who serves as the Orange County Soil & Water District Supervisor is the face behind the petition. He spoke about what inspired his petition, “Foam is not recyclable or biodegradable so it just ends up in landfills, it is a petroleum based product that puts strain on our non-renewable resources, and it kills wildlife when they accidentally ingest foam mistaken for food.”
He also said that, “In Orange County schools alone 80,000 foam trays are thrown away into landfills. Florida Hospital goes through 17,000 clams a day. That is a massive volume of waste that doesn’t need to be there.”
Rollings even started what he calls, “No Foam Zones.” No Foam Zones are areas where foam products would be banned. Several of these zones are located across the United States. So far, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Portland, Miami Beach, Honolulu, Washington D.C. and many other cities have also become foamless. Many of these cities ban Styrofoam to help protect wildlife, clean up waterways and to create less waste.
So far the organization has partnered up with other environmental organizations including, IDEAS for US, The Surfrider Foundation, The Sierra Club, The Audubon Club of Orlando and several restaurants promising to ban foam including Dandelion Community Café and the East End Market located in Winter Park.
Eric Rollings isn’t the only person in Orlando seeking a ban on foam, Emily Dovydaitis claims that those are the wishes of the entire student body at the University of Central Florida located in east Orlando.
She clarified exactly what she meant, “Senate, the legislative branch of UCF’s Student Government Association, unanimously passed a resolution in favor of the No Foam Zone in Orlando.” Emily serves as the health and sustainability coordinator for Student Government Association at UCF and is talking about Resolution 40-47. This resolution passed favorably on August 27th, 2015 by the student body senate. The resolution features a list of provisions that align with the message of the No Foam Zone organization. Each senator of SGA represents 1,000 members of their college and is therefore a representation of the voice of those 1,000 students. The University of Central Florida is home to over 60,000 students and growing. The passing of that resolution is the voice of those 60,000 plus students telling the university that they would rather be without polystyrene foam products on their college campus. Senior engineering student, Matt Aberman is in favor of the resolution and the petition, “With current options of today like recycled paper, Styrofoam doesn’t need to be our primary option for storing or delivering goods. This technology is outdated and plain wasteful.”
In order for the petition to pass, it must acquire 12,000 signatures. So far they have acquired roughly 2,000 of those needed signatures in the past two months. Even so, the commissioner is confident we will reach that number and even has high hopes it can be accomplished by the end of November. When asked what the biggest challenge was for conducting this campaign, Commissioner Rolling’s proudly replied, “The overwhelming response from local people and government to see Styrofoam banned”. For more information regarding the No Foam Zone petition go to www.nofoamzone.org.
No Foam Zone will be hosting a clean-up at La Costa Urban on September 19th 2015 and is open to anyone looking to volunteer. The event is in conjunction with the 2015 International Coastal Clean-up Day of Action, a worldwide clean-up effort for any group or organization to participate in.