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May 5, 2021 <br /> Elizabeth Walker <br /> 1318 Erie Ave <br /> Anacortes WA 98221 <br /> To: Mayor Gere <br /> City of Anacortes Council <br /> Dear Mayor and Council, <br /> I am a relatively new resident in this great community of Anacortes, although have been a Skagit County <br /> resident for over 8 years. I love being here and have enjoyed and promoted as many of the great <br /> resources and business establishments as possible. <br /> Unfortunately, over half my time residing here has been during the COVID pandemic,which has <br /> understandably hindered my ability to patronize the restaurants here. When takeout was the only <br /> option for several months, I was very discouraged by the type of materials used by too many <br /> establishments to carry the food and beverage, let alone the automatic inclusion of condiments and <br /> utensils. These materials and items cannot be composted or recycled so there is an unnecessary <br /> contribution to the waste stream. In particular, Styrofoam is extra harmful to the environment and is <br /> essentially banned in most progressive communities. <br /> While I can certainly appreciate the challenge in utilizing better food and beverage containers and <br /> shopping bag options,very little of the plastic materials is viable, even for recycling (if people are even <br /> recycling it). Waste Management has greatly limited acceptable plastics to recycle for a variety of <br /> reasons,which leaves us in a quandary. But we need to start addressing these issues to improve our <br /> responsibility as a community around conscious consumerism. <br /> For starters, now that our options to enjoy our restaurants have expanded as we start 'phasing out' of <br /> the pandemic, I see this as a time for the City to: <br /> • Ban Styrofoam containers <br /> • Insist the use of compostable utensils, straws and containers for condiments, dressings, etc. <br /> • Encourage the purveyors to ask the customer if they need utensils, straws, napkins and <br /> condiments before including in the order—perhaps consider charging for them (to offset cost) <br /> • Discourage the automatic use of plastic bags for orders, especially single or small orders (just <br /> ask!) <br /> A unified message from the City on this front would be very effective, especially if other local <br /> establishments (Gere-a-deli?) are highlighted as models of what is possible.The City could even launch <br /> an initiative with offerings of reusable products, like carry-out bags with the City logo and restaurant <br /> participants. <br /> Thank you for the opportunity to hear my concerns, needed regulation, and reasonable solutions. <br /> Would be happy to help out. <br /> Elizabeth Walker <br /> 206.697.2418 <br /> Page 4 of 1342 <br />