Growing up in the Midwest, visiting Lake Michigan has been a staple of my friends and family. Each and every year, my family gets together for the holidays in Chicago, and we visit the national lakeshores in Indiana and Michigan and enjoy the beautiful beaches, and sand dunes there. Recently though, these trips to these places and picturesque views of the expansive blue water and beaches have been clouded by single-use plastics.
Editor: Evanston has done a lot of good already and been a pioneer on this issue, passing a local plastic bag ban back in 2014. The ban has proven to be not burdensome for residents, and effective at reducing the amount of long lived waste we are producing. But it’s not enough. If we want to ensure the drinking water here and shoreline is safe for generations to come we have to cut more single use plastics out of our lives. One of the easiest ones we can do this with is polystyrene foam cups and containers, which are virtually non-recyclable, making it a substantial piece of the waste that is threatening our public health. They’re also incredibly needless, we have plenty of benign paper and cardboard alternatives.
I’m calling on Evanston’s state representative Robyn Gabel to introduce a bill banning single use polystyrene foam cups and takeout containers in Illinois. The stakes are too high to ignore, and the representative has another chance to be our environmental champion once again.