01 • 17 • 2017
Ban Disposable Polystyrene Food Containers in Maine!
The Maine Chapter worked with our Northeast Regional Manager to support the passage of LD 103, an act to prohibit the use of certain disposable food service containers in the state of Maine.
LD 103 would have protected Maine's environment and wildlife while reducing costs of litter collection and solid waste disposal by “prohibiting the sale or distribution of disposable polystyrene food service containers, which constitute a sizable portion of nondegradable litter and solid waste in the State and which fragment into smaller, nondegradable pieces that may harm marine life and other wildlife through ingestion.”
This is a strong bill would have taken effect on January 1, 2018, preventing the use of disposable food service containers composed of polystyrene foam, as well as disposable food service containers that are not recyclable or compostable (unless there is no recyclable or compostable product available at a comparable cost - an exception we advocated to remove from the bill).
Not sure why polystyrene is bad for the marine environment? Check out this resource on Surfrider's Beachapedia website to learn more.
Our Northeast Regional Manager presented testimony on behalf of the Maine Chapter, and we worked to support the bill's passage.
The public hearing before the Environment and Natural Resources Committee was on February 6th, 2017, at 1PM in the Cross Building, Room 216 (map). The work session was initially scheduled to begin at 1PM on Monday, February 13th, but Mother Nature had other ideas by way of a few feet of snow…so the Committee discussion was held on Monday, February 27th at 1PM in the Cross Building, Room 216 (map).
The Committee decided to amend and then combine LD103 with another bill we worked to support, LD57 to ban single-use plastic bags. That combo bill then moved forward to the full legislature with a divided report (posted here), for debate and a vote. Tune into our LD57 campaign page to learn more about our position on the amended combo bill, and the result.
Please give us a shout to get more involved in our plastics pollution mitigation work in Maine.