Clarkston will phase out single use plastics in government buildings

Clarkston City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Clarkston, GA — The Clarkston City Council on May 4 approved a resolution to stop purchasing single use plastics and polystyrene for use in city buildings.

The resolution gives the city a year to phase out purchasing and use of these products in favor of sustainable alternatives, a press release says. Similar measures have been passed in Fulton County and the city of Atlanta.

“Under the new resolution, purchasing of single use plastics and polystyrene will be prohibited on all City of Clarkston property,” the press release from the city says. “The resolution is a follow up measure developed after City of Clarkston council unanimously passes a resolution acknowledging the need to reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in December 2019. Initially the City planned to pass a city-wide measure but found a city property policy would be the best next step during the pressures on local businesses during the pandemic.”

Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks said she was happy that the City Council passed the resolution.

“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint of plastic and making our city a cleaner, greener place for Clarkston residents,” she said.

Oceana, a nonprofit focused on protecting oceans, also praised the city’s decision.

“Oceana commends the Mayor Burks and the city of Clarkston Council for taking action to reduce single use plastic pollution,” Oceana Field Representative Paulita Bennett-Martin said. “By eliminating disposable plastics on municipal property, the City of Clarkston sets a bar for local choices. This change also helps to eliminate plastics making their way into our waterways, nature, and community streets and eventually oceans.”

According to the press release, “an estimated 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment from land-based sources every year — roughly the equivalent of dumping two garbage trucks full of plastic into the ocean every minute.”

“On top of plastic’s harmful impacts to marine life, plastic has now been found in our water, our food, our soil, our air and our bodies, and scientists are still learning how this may be affecting human health,” the press release says. “From cradle to resin, plastics also drive greenhouse gas emissions and so they have direct contributions to the global climate crisis. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increasing amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.”

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