STATEMENT: Bill reported out of committee brings MA one step closer to less plastic pollution

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BOSTON: For decades, we’ve known that one of the worst forms of plastic pollution is polystyrene —what most of us call Styrofoam. Polystyrene is widely used in industrial and consumer applications including food packaging, among other things. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans throw away an estimated 25 billion polystyrene cups every year, or about 82 cups per person.  Polystyrene persists in the environment, is not recyclable, and as a result it clogs our landfills, litters our streets, and pollutes our lakes, rivers, and oceans. With a favorable report from a legislative committee recently given to H 3627/ S 1328 An Act to Restrict the Use of Polystyrene, we have the momentum we need to pass a law that will make  Massachusetts cleaner and healthier.

“We’re all living in Groundhog Day where plastic pollution is concerned,” said Janet Domenitz, director of MASSPIRG. “With the green light given by the Joint Committee on Public Health to a bill to prohibit the sale of most single-use styrene containers, we can see a better tomorrow.” 

“I am excited that H.3627, An Act to restrict the use of polystyrene, was reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Health,” said State Representative Marjorie Decker. “I am thankful to my Senate co-Chair Julian Cyr, MASSPIRG, and other organizations for their collaboration and partnership. We know polystyrene serves no useful benefits and that there are plenty of Earth-friendly alternatives available. I look forward to advancing this bill through the Legislature.”

Banning polystyrene is way — way way! — overdue.  An urgent reform that time forgot, until now.  Kudos to the Public Health Committee,” said Senator Michael Barrett, chief sponsor of the Senate bill.

”Polystyrene is both an environmental and human health hazard. The styrene building block is considered a probable carcinogen. Banning polystyrene is one step towards ending an economy based on cancerous substances,” said Clint Richmond, Sierra Club Conservation Chair.

“Polystyrene foodware is easily replaced with alternatives that are safer for humans and better for the environment,” said Alex T. Vai, Campaigns Coordinator, Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter. “We are looking forward to getting these materials out of our food supply, out of our waterways, and out of our neighborhoods.”

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