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[URGENT] Update on proposed styrofoam ban

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[URGENT] Update on proposed styrofoam ban

 

Friends & Neighbors,
Tomorrow night, the Hallandale Beach City Commission will vote on whether to ban styrofoam -which is very difficult to recycle and pollutes our environment for hundreds of years before decomposition- from Hallandale’s beautiful beaches and public areas.
 
Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that Mayor Joy Cooper is seeking to oppose this ban, siding with the polluters! 
 
I have copied two emails below: The first was addressed to City Commission and sent by Kristen Hoss, the Executive Director of the Youth Environmental Alliance. Kristen was informing our Commissioners of the multiple studies showing the harmful effects of styrofoam pollution on our environment.
 
The second email is a shocking reply from Mayor Cooper, who uses the polluters’ talking points to rebut Ms. Hoss’ claims, saying that she is “not one to simply say let’s ban it and feel good.”
 
I need your help. Please come out tomorrow night and tell Mayor Cooper and my fellow Commissioners that Hallandale Beach residents won’t stand for increased pollution at our beaches and public areas.
 
The meeting information is below. Please arrive early as seating will be limited, and consider calling the Clerk’s office beforehand (954-457-1339) to sign up to speak tomorrow evening on this item (Item 12B) . As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns.
 
Yours in service,
Commissioner Keith London
 
Hallandale Beach City Commission Meeting
Wednesday, April 15th
City Hall @ 6:30pm
 
 
Original Email From Kristen Hoss
 
From: Kristen Hoss [mailto:kristen@yeafrog.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 9:33 AM
To: Subject: Follow-up from Commission meeting about Styrofoam Research and Ordinance
 
Good morning Hallandale Commission members,
I am not sure that you received this, so I thought that I would send it directly as a reminder of the important decision to be made tomorrow night, a decision that can lead the way in Broward County.
 
I wanted to follow up on the Commission meeting from Tuesday that I spoke at to hopefully answer any questions that you have.
 
The statistics that I quoted about the environmental and health related dangers of expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) came from research-based publications found on the following websites:
 
When researching styrofoam (or anything for that matter), it is very important to review peer-reviewed journals or publications from credible and scientific sources ( such as Universities, Government agencies, etc) to avoid bias and ensure accuracy. The fact that the gentleman from the styrofoam and plastic industry had not heard of some of the statistics and studies that I was quoting means that they are biased and do not want to review the facts, because it is not good for business.
 
Some of the questions that were raised included the following:
 
1.  The numbers on the bottoms of items inside the “recycling” arrows, also know as chasing arrows. Those numbers correlate to the types of plastic used (styrofoam is a type of plastic, # 6, it is the expanded, or puffed up version). More information found here: http://www.plasticsindustry.org/AboutPlastics/content.cfm?ItemNumber=823&navItemNumber=2144[http://www.recyclewithore.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Recycling-Codes.jpg]
 
2.  It was mentioned during the meeting that even paper cups take “20 years (or so) to biodegrade”. I wanted to point out the difference between “bio” degrade and “photo” degrade which is what styrofoam and other plastics do. “Bio” means life, meaning anything that biodegrades was at one time, alive. Paper is made from trees, which as we know were alive. When it biodegrades, it basically becomes dirt again, a habitat component necessary to sustain life. When plastics “photo” degrade, they are broken down into smaller pieces, yet the toxic chemicals (chemicals derived from oil, the same stuff gasoline is made of, the same stuff you put in your car….You sure would not put your drink in a bowl of oil and drink it) such as styrene and Benzene to name a couple, are then released into the soil and water. If the styrofoam is burned as it is in Broward County at the Wheelabrator plant (or even recycled) it releases those chemicals into the air. Plastics such as styrofoam are not derived from “bio”, life, yet from Chemicals, some of which do not break down into something harmless.
 
3.  Styrofoam (and other plastics) is the main component in the stomachs of dead birds and many animals, including marine mammals,  from the sea that have starved to death or choked as a result of ingesting plastic or foam. Moreover, if they do not die, the toxins leach into their muscle and then moves throughout the food web, a web that we are at the top of. This type of ingestion was not an issue when we used paper, tin, glass and aluminum as our major source of packaging. This is a recent problem stemming from the increase in plastic packaging and the throw-away concept of living. Moreover, animals do not generally eat trash other than food or plastics including polystyrene. If they eat paper, it is digested or passes through, whereas plastics do not.See the following link for a compelling video:https://vimeo.com/25563376
 
4.  Passing this regulation on expanded polystyrene shows progressive thinking and is a great step in prompting people to educate themselves about alternatives to foam and plastics that are not only better for they health but better for the environment.
 
Thank you for your time, and I hope this helps
 
Kristen Hoss
Executive Director
Youth Environmental Alliance
 
 
Email Reply From Joy Cooper
 
From: "Cooper, Joy" <jcooper@hallandalebeachfl.gov
Date: April 14, 2015 at 12:55:04 PM EDT
To: Kristen Hoss <kristen@yeafrog.org<mailto:kristen@yeafrog.org>>
Subject: RE: Follow-up from Commission meeting about Styrofoam Research and Ordinance
 
Hi sorry was typing on my phone before an now in  in my office.
 
I have read through you presented information, Cannot find the course of the “ Harvard” paper imagine it is an opt ed form a group? Also I am very familiar with the EPA the many studies they has reproduced. My father is the retired  Chief  chemist for the state of New Jersey and is published in journals on drinking water. I understand the many element are found natural and also produced. The extent of the excess of any chemical be it organic or manmade is the key.
 
Benzene and polystyrene in high level obviously will harm everyone. The question is the balance of environment cost versus using styro. It is form my understanding the disposal is at issue not the product.
 
We can ban it form the beaches but the boating issues is also the problem.
 
I look forward to the debate tomorrow as well as how the enforcement of the “ban” can be implemented and the cost?
 
I am not one to simply say let’s ban it and feel good.
 
It is like the bag issue. We can ban them but not enforce?

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