This summer I spent my time canvassing with Environment Maine. One evening in Cape Elizabeth, I ran into many concerned residents because a car-sized piece of plastic had washed up on their neighborhood beach. Polystyrene is one of the most toxic plastics we produce and it never fully degrades, it just breaks down into micro-plastics, which fish and birds mistake for food, and it causes them to starve. This pollution has led the Marine and Environmental Research Institute to find that the average Maine oyster and mussel contains 177 plastic particles per animal. As a state that heavily relies on the integrity of our natural environment, as well as our seafood and fishing industry to help carry our economy forward, we must pass a statewide ban on polystyrene. The future of our state, environment, and economy will be directly and positively influenced by the passing of this ban, and we cannot afford to wait any longer to take action.

Katelynne Schmidt