Archives - D.C.’s Styrofoam ban is now in effect!

Join Us Sunday, October 25th! We need Rot Stars for our Community Compost Project!

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The Young Activist CLub invites YOU to our Compost Circle!!
Come hear about our new community-based compost project in Takoma Park!

The fate of composting in Takoma Park lies in our hands.

Who: YOU!! and The Young Activist Club students

What: A gathering to bring together the awesome citizens of Takoma Park together to talk about our pilot compost project!! Snacks provided!

Where: Historic Takoma, 7328 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park

When: 4:30 to 6:00 pm, Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Why: Because Compost Rocks!! and we need a group of adults to partner with the students of YAC to make this happen!

For more info:

We hope to see you there!! #iamawesome

Join us! Friday, Feb. 13th Valentine’s Celebration: Love the Earth, Stop Trashing It

YAC Feb 13 Valentine Celebration flyer

Please join us in celebrating our recent victories!

  • No more styrofoam lunch trays in Montgomery County schools!
  • Passage of the Young Activist Act of 2014, which restricts use of polystyrene at restaurants and other foodservice places in the City of Takoma Park!
  • Passage of the Montgomery County ban on foam polystyrene at foodservice places!

We will be announcing our new campaign – composting! – and unveiling the Young Activist Club litter clean-up Adopt-A-Spot sign in front of the Takoma Park Community Center.



Montgomery County Council bans foam polystyrene!

YAC with MoCo Council PS hearing

On January 20th, 2015, the Montgomery County (MD) County Council voted unanimously to restrict use of foam polystyrene at foodservice businesses!  Click here to see the full law along with all the testimony, including ours. (Photo above shows club members and parent club co-leaders Brenda and Nadine with Council Council members Nancy Floreen, Roger Berliner, and Hans Riemer at the County hearing on the bill, October 2014.)

Restaurants, supermarkets, food trucks, institutional cafeterias (including those operated by County departments so schools are included!), and other places that serve food are covered by the new law, which was introduced by County Council Hans Riemer and co-sponsored by George Levanthal and Marc Elrich.

The prohibition on the use and sale of expanded polystyrene foodservice products takes effect January 1, 2016.  County facilities, agencies, departments, and contractors are required to use compostable or recyclable products also on January 1, 2016, although they’re allowed to use up existing supplies until January 1, 2017.  Businesses are not required to use recyclable or compostable products until January 1, 2017.

For Washington Post article, click here.

For Gazette article, click here.

Takoma Park passes Young Activist Act of 2014 banning polystyrene!

YAC celebrates Young Activist Act of 2014 passing Nov20-2104

Thank you Takoma Park City Council for restricting use of polystyrene for serving food!

The new law builds on the 2010 resolution passed by the Council that restricted City funds from being spent to purchase polystyrene or food served on it.

The new Young Activist Act of 2014 (Ordinance 2014-62) prevents foodservice facilities in the City from using polystyrene packaging or foodservice when providing foods for on-site or take-away consumption. It also prevents the City of Takoma Park from purchasing these materials nor any City-sponsored event from using them.

YAC in Washington Post!

The Young Activists Club were once again quoted in an article, this time in the Washington Post, also about the pilot project at Francis Scott Key Middle School. They once again discussed how Montgomery County is attempting to transfer from polystyrene (styrofoam) trays to cardboard trays.

Margot Bloch was quoted in the article saying, “It’s a really good step to move from polystyrene to paper trays, but we would still like to see our dishwasher pilot happen.”

As Margot said, it is a good step to get rid of polystyrene trays, but it would save us more money to go to reusable trays.

You can read the full article here:

Earth Day 2014

The Young Activist Club had another successful earth day this year. First, we went to the Earth Day. We hosted a table to spread the word about the negative health effects of polystyrene and had people sign our petition. We also got eight new businesses to sign our pledge to go polystyrene free! Then, the next night, we once again were very privileged to be the starting nine at the Earth Day Washington Nationals game. We had a lot of fun going on the field and spreading the word about our cause. That wraps up another great earth day!

Montgomery County Pilot Project – Paper Trays

A new step has been taken towards a brighter, Eco-friendly future in Montgomery County. Implemented on April 28, 2014, Francis Scott Key Middle School in Silver Spring is now using recyclable paper trays for their school-bought lunches. Although the trays cost 4.27 cents, 1 cent more, some students have commented that the trays are flimsy and weak. They are more Eco-friendly, but they are only one step towards the final goal of reusable trays. Anna Brookes,  a seventh-grader at Takoma Park Middle School said she thinks the reusable trays would be a better alternative to plastic than the recyclable paper trays. “Getting rid of Styrofoam is still a major step,” she said. It may be a big step, but we are not at the end of the pier.

Here is the article

Several Big City School Districts Switching to Compostable Plates and Trays


New York, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, and Los Angeles have all started campaigns to replace styrofoam lunch trays in schools with  compostable trays, and they are expected to be used fully next year. You can read more inthe article below:

We looked into compostable trays and found, like this article mentioned, that their costs were at least 3 times more expensive than styrofoam trays.  We suggest that MCPS pilot the compostable trays in another school and allow us to pilot the tray washer at Piney Branch ES, and then the two pilots could be compared at the end of the year. In Montgomery County, due to the fact that we do not have the facilities to compost, compostable trays may still be burned in our county incinerator.