Loss | April 28 2015
In 2015, the 127th Maine State Legislature considered a few bills that endeavored to mitigate the use of single-use plastic bags in the state.
The three bills the Maine Chapter supported would each have enforced a fee on plastic bags while creating a fund that would use part of the collected fees for various educational programs about the environmental hazards of plastics.
The Chapter supported both LD 396 and LD 325 with amendments that would add a mandatory, uniform/mandatory fee on paper bags. This supports small business owners who without such a set, mandatory fee, would be put at a disadvantage to box stores who can absorb the costs of bags.
The Chapter supported LD 680, which would have required a fee on plastic and paper bags, as well as the labeling of bags with languge about recycling. We called for an amendment to the fee schedule on LD 680, to better support small business owners.
Unfortunately, the State of Maine's House of Representatives passed-by these GREAT opportunities to mitigate damage to our environment caused by plastic bag pollution today, by voting 84-62 and 130-15, against statewide legislation.
To see how YOUR House Rep voted, visit:
Bil 325: http://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/rollcall.asp?ID=280054590&chamber=H&serialnumber=38;
Bill 680: http://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/rollcall.asp?ID=280055187&chamber=H&serialnumber=41.
Consider sending a thank you to your rep if s/he voted in favor of protecting the environment (for LD 325, these are the Y votes, for 680, these are the N votes), and a thumbs down if your rep voted against or was absent; find contact info here: http://www.maine.gov/portal/government/edemocracy/lookup_voter_info.
Read the text of the bills here:
SUPPORT WITH AMENDMENT TO ADD MANDATORY + UNIFORM FEE ON PAPER: LD 396, An Act To Encourage the Use of Alternatives to Single-use Plastic Disposable Bags, Sponsored by Rep. Janice Cooper, http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_127th/billtexts/HP026201.asp.
SUPPORT WITH AMENDMENT TO ADD MANDATORY + UNIFORM FEE ON PAPER: LD 325, An Act To Strengthen Recycling of Single-use Plastic Shopping Bags, Sponsored by Rep. Mike Devin, http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_127th/billtexts/HP021901.asp.
SUPPORT WITH AMENDMENT TO FEE SCHEDULE: LD 680, An Act To Reduce Waste from Disposable Bags, Sponsored by Rep. Ryekerson, http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/bills_127th/billtexts/HP046101.asp.
Not sure why plastic marine debris is such a big deal? Check out Surfrider's Rise Above Plastics program page for all the details: http://www.surfrider.org/programs/entry/rise-above-plastics.