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NewsHome > News >

Portsmouth, NH Leads in Limiting Disposables, Banning Styrofoam

Time:2019-10-21 15:24 Author:Suny Group

The Portsmouth City Council has voted to regulate single-use disposables on city-owned property and at city events, and to ban Styrofoam cups and containers citywide. The measures won’t take effect until the end of 2020, giving people and businesses plenty of time to adjust.

The restriction on single-use disposables provides leadership to show how moving away from such disposable items can be done without great hardship. And it’s important to note that something being disposable doesn’t mean it goes away, it just goes somewhere else, at best a landfill and at worst the environment in general.

         Highlights of the regulation on city-owned property and at city events include:

         Charging a 10-cent fee for each paper shopping bag issued that’s more than 6 inches long.

         Allowing single-use plastic bags only to be used for transporting prepared foods, which will also come with a 10-cent fee.

         Charging a 10-cent fee for every single-use cup issued when a thermos, mug or reusable bottle could have been used instead.

         Cups must be compostable and the seller must provide a composting bin on site.

         Allowing for straws to be distributed only by request. Straws must be compostable and the seller must provide a composting bin onsite.

The 10-cent fee is not onerous and placing an emphasis on compostable items will address the reality that not nearly enough recyclable items are actually recycled. People must come to grips with the extent of single-use disposable packaging, and it’s not limited to bags, cups and straws. It is in no way sustainable to continue producing an ever-growing amount of trash. The Coakley landfill offers a lingering reminder of the risks associated with disposal of waste.

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