The draft plan from the staff of the Ocean Protection Council recommends a statewide ban on plastic bags and polystyrene food containers. It also calls for fees or recycling programs for other packaging that often ends up in the ocean. Drew Bohan is with the Council:
“Many of these materials are designed to last dozens or hundreds of years. They break down into smaller pieces, but they don’t go away. So addressing it at the source is one of the critical tools we need to try to reduce it.”
But Tim Shestek with the American Chemistry Council says the plan doesn’t fully consider alternatives to plastic bags. And he says a ban would hurt the economy:
“You have a variety of different folks who are employed in this state who manufacture bags – not just grocery bags, but produce bags – and others. Good paying jobs.”
The report is open for public comment now. In September the Ocean Protection Council will decide whether to adopt the recommendations. Legislation would be required for most of them to take effect.