Plastic bottles

Photo: WSB-TV
Photo: WSB-TV

South Fulton to reduce single-use plastics in city buildings

The City of South Fulton is the latest local municipality taking steps to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in the environment. 

On Tuesday, the South Fulton City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance that would reduce the use of plastics in buildings and facilities owned, operated and leased by the city.

The idea is getting mixed reactions.

“With the passing of this legislation, we are joining a global effort to reduce waste, prioritize sustainability and protect our environment,” said Councilwoman Carmalitha Gumbs who sponsored the legislation. “It is our hope that this measure will encourage residents to increase recycling and other waste-reduction practices, as well as motivate our business community to play a substantial role in making South Fulton a greener, and more eco-friendly community,”

About 400 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide each year, and about half of it is single-use. In Georgia, residents throw away about 1 million tons of plastic each year.

>>  READ MORE: How can we get plastic waste under control?

The City of South Fulton follows several municipalities across the nation including Fulton County, in reducing the use of plastics in their communities. 

This year, 34 states are considering over 200 pieces of legislation to address plastic pollution, according to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. That includes bans or fees on a range of single-use plastics such as plastic bags, plastic straws and styrofoam cups. 

In August, the city of Atlanta paused proposed legislation that would ban these items at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and city facilities. 

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But officials in the city of South Fulton said reducing single-use plastics in city facilities would reduce the amount of litter and plastic that ends up in storm drains and waterways throughout the city. The legislation also encourages the use of plastic alternatives, reusable products and increased recycling of single-use plastics.

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