Energy & Environment

Texas Environmental Group Says It Will Keep Up The Pressure To Get Rid Of Styrofoam Cups

After criticizing Whataburger and other fast food chains over their use of Styrofoam cups, a Texas environmental group is taking its complaints to lawmakers. The group wants the state to give cities more authority to ban single-use containers.

Environment Texas recently targeted Whataburger over the use of its iconic orange and white Styrofoam drink cup. They say some of those cups are winding up in local waterways where fish and wildlife ingest the tiny fragments.

The group’s Brian Zabcik said they’ve now spoken with a Whataburger representative and they’ve agreed to talk more in the future.

“This is not a campaign against Whataburger, this is a campaign against Styrofoam,” said Zabcik. “We’re trying to bring awareness of this in Texas and trying to get Texans to realize that Styrofoam is polluting this great state of ours.”

“The problem with Styrofoam is that it’s technical recyclable but practically speaking it doesn’t get recycled a lot,” continued Zabcik.

As for their next step, Environment Texas wants to ask lawmakers to get rid of the municipal preemption clause, which prohibits cities from banning single-use items like plastic grocery bags.

“Recycling is just part of the answer but recycling just does not capture all of our trash,” added Zabcik. “As long as that’s the case we need to take steps to make sure that our trash isn’t harming the environment.”

The Texas Supreme Court recently tossed out Laredo’s ban on plastic bags. Justices say it ran contrary to the state’s law on solid waste disposal.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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