AUGUSTA, Maine -- At the end of April, Maine became the first state in the country to sign a statewide ban on polystyrene foam cups and containers into law. With Gov. Janet Mills signature today, Maine is tackling another common and hazardous forms of single-use plastic: disposable grocery bags. The Pine Tree state is now the third state in the country to ban plastic bags.
Every day, Americans throw out tens of millions of disposable plastic bags, most of which are never recycled. A recent study found that of all the plastics ever made, 79 percent currently exist in landfills or in our rivers, lakes and oceans. Pieces of plastic have been found in every corner of the planet, from Pyrenees alpine lakes to the deepest ocean trenches, ingested by sea turtles and humans alike.
Environment Maine director Carissa Maurin issued the following statement:
“Even though Maine was the first state to get a polystyrene foam ban on the books, we're not resting on our laurels. There's a lot more work to be done to rid ourselves of plastic pollution. Along with foam containers, disposable plastic bags are among the most common and harmful forms of plastic pollution. This bill will immediately reduce their negative impact.
"I’m proud of Gov. Mills and the Maine Legislature for putting wildlife over waste and banning single-use plastic bags. Given their environmental impacts and the abundance of reusable alternatives, they’re as harmful as they are unnecessary.”
"Nothing we use should for five minutes should be allowed to pollute our planet for hundreds of years. I’m happy to know that our great state of Maine agrees. To that I say, what plastic single-use item is next?”
Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization committed to defending our environment through independent research, tough-minded advocacy and spirited grassroots action.