Fulton County Commissioners Vote to Phase out Single-Use Plastics

Fulton County Assembly Hall

Fulton County Commissioners Vote to Phase out Single-Use Plastics

April 18, 2019

At their April 17, 2019, meeting, Fulton County Board Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of new legislation sponsored by Board Chairman Robb Pitts and co-sponsored by Vice-Chairman Lee Morris to immediately begin to phase out the use of single-use plastics and substitute those products with non-plastic alternatives. The proposal seeks to eliminate the use of single-use plastic products in Fulton County owned, operated, and leased facilities by Jan. 1, 2020.

“Fulton County is joining so many other municipalities, states, and counties in doing our part to drive down plastic pollution by eliminating wasteful plastics, which never break down and end up back in the ecosystem and possibly our food supply,” says Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts. “In a year when the Earth Day theme is ‘Protect Our Species,’ we at Fulton County are ready to achieve that goal.”

The Fulton County proposal follows the example set by similar legislation in municipalities around the United States and Canada to reduce waste from single-use plastics. County leaders hope that the legislation will also encourage Fulton County’s cities to pass measures reducing the use and distribution of single-use plastics. To that end, the County plans to provide a copy of the resolution to each of Fulton County’s cities for their consideration.

According to the Earth Day Network, Americans use more than 100 billion plastic shopping bags and 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year, in addition to 500 million plastic straws every day. This resolution seeks to make a dent in this problem by reducing the number of plastic products that will end up in storm drains and waterways from littering and the circulation of windblown debris. The Board of Commissioners directed the Fulton County Energy and Sustainability Manager and the Chief Financial Officer to develop and maintain a list of “single-use plastics” to be posted on the Fulton County website. The list of those materials will be provided to the Department of Purchasing and Contract Compliance to ask potential County vendors to seek viable non-plastic alternatives to single-use plastics.