Live Green: Environment Committee of Rehoboth Beach
REHOBOTH BEACH, DE– From working with school children to eliminating single use plastic, like straws, the Environment Committee of Rehoboth Beach is helping their community stay green– through action, legislation and education.
The environment is near and dear to Richard Byrne’s heart That’s why the Rehoboth Beach City Commissioner created the Environment Committee two years ago to focus on taking care of the City’s environment.
“We’re so fortunate that we not only have the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal in our backyard, two fresh water lakes and, of course, the beach, the boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean,” said Richard Byrne.
At the start of 2021, Delaware’s plastic bag ban went into effect. But, the Environment Committee noticed that it wasn’t making a big enough change in the community. Because of how close they are to so many waterways, they realized how harmful single use plastic straws were to marine life. In May of 2021, the mayor and commissioners unanimously passed a voluntary plastic straw ban that would go into effect next January.
“We are asking businesses to voluntarily comply to not provide straws to individuals unless asked. And if they do ask, to provide an alternative product, a biodegradable product,” explained Byrne.
But they’re not stopping there. Richard says the committee is discussing future green alternatives to single use plastic because they want people to think about the resources and harmful chemicals that are used to make these items.
“It’s important to realize a great deal of fossil fuel and other contaminants are used to manufacture these single use plastic products. And they are just that. They are used, like a straw or a plastic bag, for a few minutes to maybe an hour,” stated Byrne.
This is why the Environment Committee is starting to encourage people to bring their own cloth bags when shopping and only ask for straws when they need one. They hope that little measures like this – will make a big impact in keeping Rehoboth Beach clean and beautiful.
Recently, the Environment Committee of Rehoboth Beach partnered with a local elementary school to display artwork done by students that reflects the importance of recycling. The students’ artwork will be on display throughout Downtown Rehoboth this summer. For more information about the Environment Committee, please visit the city’s website.