05 • 24 • 2021
Bellingham Polystyrene Ordinance
Support the Bellingham City Council and Mayor in signing in to law an ordinance that is comprehensive in plastics reduction and bans polystyrene takeout containers.
On May 24th, 2021, Bellingham's city council voted unanimously on a city-wide ordinance to address plastic pollution by banning many single-use plastics and encouraging compostable alternatives. The ordinance will ban Expanded Polystyrene (EPS - commonly known as 'Styrofoam'), require takeout containers be made of compostable materials, mandate that hotels replace single-use toiletries with refillable dispensers, and will make straws available upon-request only. Most of these rules will go into effect on July 31st of 2022, well ahead of the recently-passed statewide plastics bill SB5022. The Northwest Straits Surfrider Chapter and the Western Washington University Surfrider Club launched a local campaign in 2018 to reduce plastic waste, including a ban on EPS. Working with dedicated partners (RE Sources, Mt. Baker Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Zero Waste Washington), they succeeded in spite of the challenges and delays of the pandemic. This is Surfrider Washington's third coastal victory this year, and continues the City of Bellingham's long history of promoting responsible environmental policies (the city was one of the first communities in the state to issue a plastic bag ordinance, a decade before the statewide bag ban).