As a coastal community, Rockport’s economic vitality is dependent on maintaining the beauty and health of our land and marine spaces. Plastic pollution is a growing problem that affects the health of our ocean and the animals that live there. Today, there are an estimated 46,000-1,000,000 plastic fragments floating within every square mile of our world’s oceans. Seaside Sustainability, Inc. (“Seaside”) is interested in minimizing our impact on the ocean by reducing the amount of plastic waste produced in Rockport. We are planning to propose the introduction and adoption of six ordinances in Rockport that will ban single use plastic bags, balloons, disposable water bottles, plastic straws and stirrers, plastic cutlery, and polystyrene (Styrofoam) food ware containers. To facilitate community engagement, we hope to involve the Rockport Public Schools and their student lead Green Teams at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
In the past, our organization, in collaboration with the Gloucester Clean City Commission, successfully pioneered a ban on polystyrene and plastic bags in Gloucester. Our Gloucester initiative was funded largely by the Commission, and since no equivalent official town committee exists in Rockport, we are spearheading this initiative. Seaside will follow the successful model we utilized in the passing of the plastic bans in Gloucester. We will create partnerships with local businesses and organizations and teach them about more sustainable retail and dining practices. We’ll distribute resources discussing sustainable and affordable alternative products. To garner additional support, we’ll canvas the town with petitions, events, and launch a thorough personal relations campaign. This will include social media, posters and flyers, as well as letters to all business owners that may be affected. Seeking an audience with the board of selectmen, we will discuss the proposed ban and identify how we can make it work best for the municipality.
Funded by Rockport, MA (October 2018)