SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah city leaders are working to improve the city’s footprint. The council has banned the use of single-use plastics in city facilities. Climate change advocates are calling this move a small but very important step.

“This is it. The first generation to understand what we’ve done to the planet and the last generation to be able to deal with it,” Climate change advocate, Ardis Wood said.

Wood got involved with the initiative a few years ago after environmental activist Greta Thunberg encouraged world leaders to take action on climate change.

“When we do something like this and it becomes successful and not so hard as we thought maybe it would be then that gives us the courage and the momentum to take on new things,” Wood said.

District 4 Alderman Nick Palumbo has made it his mission to help give the city a greener footprint.

“So if we’re going to be the guiding light of the Coastal Empire and pick a sustainable position which we need on our coast, it begins with us,” Palumbo said.

He said plastics are unsustainable and expensive for the city’s landfill. The city had to raise the height of the landfill in January to extend its lifetime.

“Every time you’re throwing something into the trash that can’t be recycled it makes a heavier burden on our landfill as well,” Palumbo said.

“We’re using the earth like a vending machine and just assume that there’s always going to be something that we can extract and take and it’s about to run out,” Wood said.

The city is partnering with select bars and restaurants through a pilot program starting July 4. A reuseable aluminum cup will be provided to customers instead of plastic to cut down on waste.