With a new grant, the City of Annapolis has launched a push to get local restaurants and businesses to cut out single-use plastics.
“Plastic Free Annapolis…A Public Education Campaign,” is being spearheaded by the environmental group Annapolis Green on behalf of the city. It’s a month-long campaign running from August 20 to September 20.
Annapolis Green says the program is an extension of last year’s “Don’t Suck. #SipResponsibly” campaign, which asked local restaurants and others to stop using plastic straws, which litter shorelines and waterways.
And it worked: “Restaurant managers were quick to sign on with either a ‘plastic straws upon request’ policy or a switch to paper or reusable straws, or no straw at all,” says Lynne Forsman, co-founder of Annapolis Green.
This time, Plastic Free Annapolis wants to “inform residents, visitors and businesses about ways to voluntarily reduce throw-away plastic such as bags, water bottles, carry-out containers, balloons, and straws by using environmentally friendly alternatives or by just not using these products.”
While all kinds of businesses can get involved, Annapolis Green is targeting those in the hospitality industry because they can spread the word to both Annapolitans and visitors, too.
“It’s one way to show their customers that they are good stewards of the environment,” points out Elvia Thompson, President and Co-founder of Annapolis Green.
Plastic Free Annapolis is funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was given to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Coastal Zone Management Office, which offered some of the funds to the City of Annapolis. Thanks to the grant, the program is able to offer businesses a toolkit of ads and marketing tools, free social media promotion, and recognition plaques and stickers.
To find out more about Plastic Free Annapolis, click here.
-Meg Walburn Viviano