Montgomery County should fight climate change with the same vigor as we battle the coronavirus. Climate change is our other major public health threat. While we must promote environmentally friendly mobility options to reduce carbon emissions, we must also continue to reduce our climate footprint by taking steps to eliminate plastic waste. In 2018, I campaigned on banning single-use plastic bags and implementing a straw reduction plan as part of my bold Zero Waste Plan. Now I want to build on this proposal by reducing our use of plastic bottles, utensils and containers and encouraging residents to purchase products in cardboard instead of plastic, with government leading by example.
The pandemic has resulted in more trash and waste sent to our already overwhelmed processing and recycling facility, with more families eating at home and carrying out food. Educating residents about how to avoid contamination and recycle right will maximize the monetarily value we realize from the sale of recyclables. We should continue to examine the merits of transitioning from a dual-stream recycling to single-stream recycling that Prince George’s County now uses to reduce confusion, promote recycling and decrease our reliance on the trash incinerator. We also must commit to increasing investments to our Green Bank that will allow us to make energy efficiency improvements across the County.
More than 21 percent of our county’s land is farmland that needs to be preserved and protected, with incentives to discourage farmers from selling land to developers. I’ll make good on my promise to embark on a major buy local campaign to source more locally made products in our schools and public buildings, so we can reinvest in our community and support small businesses. I’ll carry out our ambitious Climate Action Plan reducing emissions, while addressing racial and health disparities to reach our goals. I’ll ensure we have a comprehensive flood and storm water management program to prevent erosion and protect our water quality for generations today and those that follow. I’ll make protecting our natural resources and eliminating environmental hazards a priority to keep our community vibrant and strong.