Single-Use Disposables Study

Disposable tableware, drinking-straws, and plastic bags

The City of Fayetteville places a high value on clean water and our natural environment. We rely on these resources for recreation, tourism, and for clean drinking water. During a recent stream cleanup of Town Branch Creek in Fayetteville (a tributary to the White River and Beaver Lake, which is the drinking water supply for Northwest Arkansas), we found that plastic and Polystyrene / Styrofoam™ were the most common litter in the creek, comprising up 26% (by volume) of total litter. Another national study found that 25 – 35% (by volume) of landfills are composed of Polystyrene / Styrofoam™ products.

The City of Fayetteville is interested in exploring ways to reduce this waste and litter in our community, including a possible citywide ban or fee on plastic bags and other single-use plastics. 

In May, 2019, Fayetteville City Council voted to ban the purchase of expanded Polystyrene foam / Styrofoam™ using City monies. (View ordinance here.)  

In June, 2019, Council passed Resolution 139-19: A resolution to express the intention of the City Council to Consider regulation of single-use plastic shopping bags and difficult-to-recycle or compost single-use plates, bowls, cups and utensils. (View resolution here.)

Read "The Real Cost of Styrofoam," a 2016 report prepared by Saint Louis University.

In August 2019, City Council received an update from staff on their policy analysis of regulations on disposable single use bags and polystyrene (see presentation here).


Speak Up Fayetteville Opens in new window


As part of this study, the City is asking Fayetteville residents, visitors, and businesses to provide your input.  Surveys are available, both for Fayetteville residents / visitors and for city businesses, on Speak Up Fayetteville, the City's public engagement portal. Please take a few minutes to visit the site today to take the survey(s) and voice your opinion.  

Related Documents