The Mayor of Hallandale Beach, FL, Joy Cooper, has made the progressive decision to not get caught up in the recent trend of unnecessarily banning expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. EPS foam is most often incorrectly referred to as Styrofoam, the brand name for a type of foam manufactured by the Dow Chemical Company, and is used as insulation for buildings.
The type of foam that has received negative press of late has been used in the manufacture of foodservice products, such as cups, trays and clamshells. Hallandale Beach, along with numerous other communities across America, has suffered a litter problem and unfortunately lawmakers in those areas have blamed the materials being littered rather than the act of littering. Mayor Joy Cooper is quoted as saying that products don’t litter, people do.
She has taken the response to use funding in an anti-litter campaign for six months to see if that helps the situation. She must realize that it is much better for everyone to pay to reduce litter before it becomes an issue, rather than to pay to clean up the coast after the fact. Both the environment and the local community benefit from this prevention approach.
The campaign will hire local students on their summer break to patrol the beach and encourage patrons to recycle and appropriately dispose of their trash. There will be a 30-60 day period when litter warnings will be given out. After that, it will be a fine of $50 for each act of littering. In the fall, the Mayor will reassess the situation and see if the anti-litter campaign has proven effective. If so, further prevention methods will be pursued and local business owners won’t have to worry about switching their foam foodservice products to more expensive alternatives.