An anti-foam campaign called “No Foam Zone” has begun in Orlando, Florida and is being led by Eric Rollings, Chairman of the Orange Soil and Water District. The campaign’s hope is that the city will ban single-use foam foodservice products, such as coffee cups, clamshells and trays. They are looking to follow in the footsteps of nearby Miami Beach, which banned foam products in all city parks, events and venues on July 8. They argue that recycling bins in Orlando do not accept foam or plastic bags and therefore they should be banned. If they looked beyond the limited view of their neighbors to a city like Denver, they would see that it is possible to create initiatives that are both good for the environment and the local community.
Thanks to a grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition, available to public or private entities in the US and Canada looking to establish foam recycling programs, Denver has successfully initiated a curb-side recycling program for foam foodservice products. This innovative thinking means that the city can still benefit from all of the advantages of using foam; such as its low cost for business owners, and hygiene benefits for hospitals and schools, as well as supporting a cleaner environment.
A number of small business owners in Orlando are opposed to this foam ban and will not be showing their support in the suggested manner of putting a “No Foam Zone” sign in their store windows. They know that if foam is banned they will have to use more costly alternatives and pass these increased cost onto their customers. If campaigns like Eric Rollings’ could use their enthusiasm to encourage progressive initiatives, like we see in Denver, we could look forward to a more environmentally sustainable and consumer-friendly world.