Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our future for hundreds of years.

Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff”—cups, plates, bags, containers, forks, knives, spoons and more. All of this waste not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks, and litters our streets, but it also washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife.

The production of plastic harms BIPOC Americans and members of the Global South disproportionately. Cancer Alley in Louisiana is home to over 150 plants and refineries which harm the predominantly Black community. The area is the second largest producer of petrochemicals in the country.

Recycling certainly can help mitigate the problem. But unfortunately, of the millions of tons of plastic we produce every year, most is currently not recyclable, and we produce vastly more waste than our recycling infrastructure can handle. As a society, we need to stop creating enormous quantities of unnecessary waste in the first place, rather than focus only on recycling and re-using waste after the fact.

The good news is that we have lots of alternatives to single-use plastic items would prevent needless harm to the environment.

It’s Time To Stop Trashing Our Future

From the Columbia to Winchuck Rivers, we need to protect the wildlife that live along the 360 miles of the Oregon Coast. We can’t do that when polystyrene, commonly known as “styrofoam”, ends up in our rivers and oceans breaking down into microplastics that sea turtles often mistake for food. That’s why, Portland, Medford, and Ashland have already passed bans. It’s time for Oregon’s leaders to act—making us the first state to ban polystyrene.

In the coming terms we’ll be working to pass a citywide ordinance banning polystyrene to build support for a statewide ban. We’ll also be working to collect petition signatures, getting restaurants to make the switch, and meeting with lawmakers in Salem.

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