Statement: Polystyrene bill advances, a victory for wildlife

Media Contacts

BOSTON – A legislative committee advanced two bills today that would phase out the use of certain plastic containers for takeout food.

The bills (H.2263, S.1370), filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Michael Barrett, would prohibit restaurants from distributing food in takeout containers made of polystyrene foam — commonly known as Styrofoam — or other forms of polystyrene. The Joint Committee on Public Health,chaired by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Jo Comeford, reported favorably on the bills and referred them to the House Ways and Means Committee, which must approve the bills before they can go to a vote of the full House.

Janet Domenitz, executive director for MASSPIRG, issued the following statement:

“With apologies to Hal David, what the world does not need more of right now is plastics. As such, we’re grateful to the Joint Committee on Public Health for advancing these bills, and to the lead sponsors, Rep. Majorie Decker and Sen. Mike Barrett, who are longtime champions of waste and plastic reduction. We look forward to working with them and other legislators to get this bill to the finish line so we can make Massachusetts a cleaner, more sustainable Commonwealth.”

Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our oceans for centuries. Yet, every day, restaurants and other businesses are distributing foam takeout containers and other single-use plastic products. When these items get into our environment, they harm birds, marine mammals, and other wildlife. It’s time to set Massachusetts on a path to a more sustainable future, and we’re grateful to the public health committee for taking this important step.”