Fourth of July is a holiday with many celebrations involving food — and food means plates and utensils.
I am concerned with the litter this generates on our beaches, at parks and at home gatherings. I hope that people will buy alternatives to Styrofoam products, which cannot be recycled and don’t decompose in landfills.
Often, they get into creeks, lakes and the ocean, where they break down into very small pieces that are ingested by fish and other marine animals.
I have seen photos taken of the insides of fish, seals, etc., that have swallowed various kinds of plastic, and they are horrifying.
Because there are reasonable alternatives to plastic utensils, Styrofoam cups, etc., such as compostable and recycled products available at all of our major grocery stores, let’s buy those even if it costs a small amount more. It’s worth it. The city of San Luis Obispo recently approved a long-awaited Styrofoam ban, as I hope others will in the coming months.
Even with passage of the ban, it is up to us consumers to make wise purchases for this holiday and other occasions. The volunteers who clean up, the birds and the fish will all benefit.