Environment North Carolina
Rebecca Martinez

Environmental activists are calling for a statewide ban on single-use polystyrene, better known as styrofoam. The plastic food and drink containers don’t biodegrade, and often end up in waterways and marine animals.

Drew Ball, of Environment North Carolina, said the General Assembly has been working against similar environmental measures. Last year, lawmakers repealed a ban on plastic bags on the Outer Banks. But Ball said many groups are emerging to reduce pollution across North Carolina.

“As we kind of build these bridges and build these coalitions I think we're going to build a lot of power to be able to push back on the Legislature next year and really get behind some of the champions in the legislature that want to take plastic pollution seriously,” Ball said.

Even if the General Assembly moved to loosen restrictions on local governments to implement regulations, Ball said it could improve the state's natural environment.

“At the end of the day, local governments are the ones who have to manage the landfills, they have to manage their waste streams,” he said. “So we're hoping that the state will step up and help out with a ban on plastic single-use polystyrene."

Ball says Environment NC is rallying the support of local groups to get a styrofoam ban introduced during the 2019 Legislative session.