News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Activists to rally before Albany County vote on polystyrene ban

Activists to rally before Albany County vote on polystyrene ban

For immediate release: March 10, 2017
Contact: Cliff Weathers, Communications Director
914-478-4501, ext. 239; cweathers@riverkeeper.org

Albany — On Monday, March 13, Albany County legislators will vote on a bill to ban polystyrene (styrofoam) take-out food containers. Before the vote, local activists will hold a press conference and rally to help convince lawmakers to vote in favor of the ban.

Polystyrene is not recyclable and not compostable, and plenty of affordable and environment-friendly alternatives are available. Reducing the use of polystyrene is good for our environment. Polystyrene breaks into small pieces, so it’s hard to clean up and gets eaten by fish and birds.

“Polystyrene is designed for one time use, but lasts for 1,000 years in our environment. It is ingested by fish and birds, who can be harmed or even killed,” said Riverkeeper’s Director of Community Engagement, Sarah Womer. “It can also have health consequences for humans. Polystyrene can leach the toxic substances styrene and benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins. Hot foods and liquids start a partial breakdown of polystyrene, causing some toxins to be absorbed into our bloodstream and tissue.”

There is growing support for the ban in the County Legislature. From the Albany County community, thirty-eight local restaurants have signed letters supporting the ban and two online petitions have drawn more than 1,200 signatures.

WHAT: Press conference and rally supporting a county ban of polystyrene take-out food containers.

WHEN: Monday, March 13. Rally and press conference at 5:30 p.m. featuring PAUSE community organizer Betty Head, and Albany County legislators Doug Bullock and Bill Reinhardt.

WHERE: Academy Park, across from Albany County Courthouse, 16 Eagle Street

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