It's not unusual to replace a plate with Styrofoam at Fajita Grill.

"We're using Styrofoam for our to-gos and drink cups,” said Gabriela Castiglia, a Fajita Grill team leader.

Down the road at Oswego Sub Shop, they use Styrofoam cups as well.

But it could become a thing of the past.

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is proposing the "Keep Oswego Clean Initiative."

 

 

"We're trying to come out as the environmental leader of the region,” said Barlow. “I think we have that obligation and even more of a responsibility because we're a waterfront community."

Barlow's plan includes banning the sale and use of Styrofoam in the city.

"Styrofoam causes blight; it doesn't break down,” said Barlow. “We know that there's carcinogens in Styrofoam. You can't microwave it."

The mayor also wants reduce litter throughout the community.

He'd like to double the fine for littering from $100 to $200, and add more trash cans to city streets.

"You take a walk on our river walk or around Breitbeck Park and the improvements we're doing on our waterfront, and you can see where plastic and Styrofoam washes up from the water onto the shore,” said Barlow. “I think that should serve as a wakeup call."

It’s a reminder that motivates these restaurant managers to keep the community clean.

"It's just a small step in the right direction for the younger generation to keep the earth the way it should be for them too," said Castiglia.

"We all have grandchildren,” said Bethanne Greene, the Oswego Sub Shop manager. :We want them to have a good place to live, we want them to be able to breathe. We don't want them to get sick on the things like the Styrofoam."

The restaurant managers say it won’t be a problem if they have to stop using the Styrofoam because they know there are safer alternatives.

The mayor says this initiative will also support the state’s plastic bag ban.

He also wants to ban smoking, vaping and tobacco use on all city property and events.

Barlow will present his initiative at the Common Council meeting on Monday.