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Environmental advisory council takes action


“Earlier this year, under my leadership, Borough Council’s Environment and Recreation Committee tasked the environmental advisory council (EAC) with assembling their findings into a recommendation to bring to Council,” Borough Councilwoman Wendy Margolis said at the forum on controlling waste.

Margolis said the EAC was empowered knowing that council was prepared to take action in the form of an ordinance, and recommended that council gather public feedback for an ordinance that would bansingle-use plastic straws, with certain exemptions, and require that business owners charge $0.10 per single-use plastic bag, again with certain exemptions.

The bag fees would kept by the businesses. The EAC’s recommendation did not include a component for food containers due to concerns about the costs of alternatives. Along with the recommended ordinance, the EAC proposed measures to educate the public and to support the business community, she said.

Margolis, who is also the head of the borough’s environment and recreation committee, added that the borough’s numerous trash haulers do very little to educate their customers about proper recycling practices, resulting in the type of contamination that has shut down markets for recycled materials.

“Plastic bags are especially problematic, causing problems in sorting machinery at recycling plants and often flying all over town as litter and eventually ending up in the waterways,” she said.

In late 2016, the environment and recreation committee and the Doylestown Borough EAC began discussing and researching the impacts of single-use, nonrecyclable plastics including straws, bags, and food containers. “This was inspired, in part, by the successful efforts of then-high school senior, Shaylan Kolodney, to convert Central Bucks West’s cafeteria from polystyrene trays to reusable trays,” Margolis said.