Photo: Mitchell Haindfield
As promised, Fayetteville officials are continuing their efforts to move the city away from single-use materials that end up in landfills.
Surveys are now available for both individuals and businesses to weigh in on the topic. Questions range from asking about general opinions on waste reduction to whether residents and business owners would support a full citywide ban of plastic bags.
The idea was first introduced in May when the City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits city staff from using city money to purchase Styrofoam products, and bans the use of Styrofoam containers by anyone operating a concession stand or food truck inside city parks and in city-owned parking lots.
Up next was a resolution approved in June that directs city staff to research ways in which Fayetteville might regulate single-use plastics.
The research 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 when checking out at a store. The idea, staff said, 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, the city’s director of sustainability. “During a recent cleanup of Town Branch Creek, volunteers found that plastic and Styrofoam made up 26% by volume of the total litter collected.” Nierengarten also cited a national study that found 25-35% by volume of landfills nationwide are made up of Styrofoam materials.