MARCH 27, 2022 UPDATE
The Senate companion bill to H.7063, S.2050 came to public hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture on Wednesday, March 30, at 4pm, in State House Room 313. The Committee voted to hold the bill for further study, which gives us time to still chime in to let them know how important this bill is to pass!
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JANUARY 27, 2022 UPDATE
At the close of the public hearing, the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee recommended the measure be held for further study. This means that it could be called for Committee debate and action at any point before the end of session. Once the bill leaves Committee, if it is not recommended for review by another committee, it will go to the House floor for a vote. If it passes the House, it will then be taken up by the Senate.
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H.7063 came to public hearing before the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee on January 27, 2022. We submitted written testimony in support of the legislation.
The bill proposes to ban single-use foam foodware containers and plastic beverage stirrers beginning on January 1, 2024.
This includes prohibition on processing, preparing, selling or providing food or beverages in containers that are composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam.
The prohibition maintains exemptions for hospitals and certain types of hunger relief programs, as well as for polystyrene foam coolers or ice chests that are used for the processing or shipping of seafood.
H.7063 was also written with an emergency clause, expressly authorizing use of foam foodwares in an emergency for the immediate preservation of the public health or safety. While we did not call this out in our testimony, this clause did cause pause, as it seems counter to the merits of the ban, which largely center around protecting public health and safety, as well as environmental integrity, from the use of this cancer-causing material!
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