Samantha Look of the Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS) met with Aquinnah selectmen Tuesday to request that they put an article on the annual town meeting warrant encouraging businesses to cease all use of polystyrene.
The warrant article regarding polystyrene is not a ban, but a resolution that businesses can voluntarily opt into, or choose not to participate in.
Look is going to all Island towns to request that the article be included.
Selectmen chair Juli Vanderhoop said Aquinnah already has a Styrofoam ban, but Look explained that polystyrene encompasses a broader spectrum of products.
“Polystyrene can appear as both a foam and a rigid plastic,” Look said. “If you put a bunch of plastic cups on a table, some would be polystyrene and some could be other forms of plastic, but you wouldn’t know the difference.”
Look said she doesn’t know of any businesses in Aquinnah that use polystyrene for food packing anyway, which is the main use of that particular product. “It would be a pretty minor change to the status quo,” Look said.
According to Look, VCS will soon put together a visual reference table of some polystyrene products, alongside alternative (more eco-friendly) products and costs.
“We see having something on the books, even though it’s nonbinding, as a nice way to give a little ‘oomf’ to this outreach initiative,” Look said. “No, you don’t have to do this, but the town loves the idea that we are moving in this direction.”
The warrant article was accepted unanimously by selectmen.