Portland & Plastics Legislation

In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic and polystyrene that enters our waste stream, the City of Portland has formed a Green Packaging Working Group. The working group is composed of stakeholders coming from all over Portland: City Council members, public schools, representatives from business and industry (Dunkin Donuts, EcoMaine, Dart Corporation, American Chemistry Council), associations (Maine Grocers Assocation), non-profits & advocacy groups (Surfrider Maine, Environment Maine, Maine Audobon Society, among others) and Portland residents.

Through this Working Group, two ordinances have been proposed to target plastic waste in the environment. One ordinance would place a ban on the use and distribution of expanded polystyrene foam food packaging (think of those white clamshell containers that takeout food is encased in). The other is hoping to place a minimal fee on the use of both paper and plastic grocery bags.

Both ordinances have been crafted by the Working Group and are now in the hands of the Transportation, Sustainability, and Energy Committee. If approved, they will make their way to the full Portland City Council for a vote.

This is great! How do I get involved?

  • Contact our RAP coordinators with any questions about these campaigns.
  • Write to the Portland City Councilors! Kevin Donoghue has expressed concern over the bag fee ordinance and he needs to hear from concerned citizens (that’s you!) why a fee would be a boon for Portland. His email is kjdonoghue@portlandmaine.gov
  • On Facebook or Twitter? Post your thoughts about these ordinances and tag @maine_dep in your posts. #wastefreeMaine

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