June 20, 2013

LePage on plastic foam ban: Don't be 'nanny'

He co-signs a letter to Portland councilors as a task force urges them to prohibit polystyrene use.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Today's poll: Polystyrene

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Letter to City Council from LePage and Polystyrene Coalition

The opposition is based partly on the increased costs to businesses and the process by which the proposal was adopted.

"This was not a deliberative body that examined and weighed all the relevant evidence associated with this issue," the minority report says. "Rather, this was a hollow proceeding designed to arrive at an intended result."

The minority also contends that the ordinance would not accomplish the stated goal of reducing litter: "Litter is a people problem, not a materials problem."

Proposed fines for violating the ordinance range from a maximum of $250 for the first offense within a one-year period to a maximum of $500 for each subsequent offense in a one-year period.

Exemptions would be available if food vendors could prove "undue hardship" from the ordinance.

The city manager could allow polystyrene to be used in "an emergency for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety."

Portland schools instituted a policy last year against using polystyrene food trays. Food service director Ron Adams said costs tripled -- from 3 cents a tray to 9 cents a tray -- when the district switched.

City Councilor David Marshall, chairman of the Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee, said he expects the proposed ban to attract a lot of attention.

"I'm not at all surprised to see the different interest groups lining up on this," he said.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

rbillings@pressherald.com

Twitter: @randybillings

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Today's poll: Polystyrene

Should Portland adopt a ban on polystyrene?

Yes

No

View Results