The Mercer Island City Council was visited by a group of young activists at its Jan. 23 meeting, as the Lakeridge Elementary student Green Team presented a proposal to improve health and sustainability in their community.
“Only a few restaurants still use Styrofoam to-go containers for their food, but the effect this has on our environment and the potential harmful effects it has on our health, makes this a serious problem that we want to stop,” according to the petition. “Many restaurants on the island already use recyclable and compostable to-go containers and they are readily available for purchase.”
Local businesses Homegrown, Pagliacci, Freshy’s and New Seasons support the petition, said parent and Green Team leader Nancy Weil.
The students have been working on this for months, after applying for a grant through the McKonkey Foundation. Shane McKonkey, a local hero and passionate environmentalist, died in a ski accident. His foundation gives grants to students who make a difference in their cities, Weil said.
The council said it would discuss the ban, possibly at its annual planning session, as it aims to re-focus on sustainability this year. City Sustainability and Communications Manager Ross Freeman gave an update later at the Jan. 23 meeting, and said there was renewed citizen energy around the program. With the help of community groups like Sustainable MI, a Sustainability Action Plan could be drafted in 2018.
See www.mercergov.org/sustainability for more.