Briggs introduces legislation to reduce polystyrene pollution

KING OF PRUSSIA, March 18 – State Rep. Tim Briggs introduced legislation to reduce the amount of polystyrene material that pollutes the environment.

House Bill 627 would prohibit food establishments from using single-use polystyrene containers (solid or foam) to dispense prepared foods.

“We’ve all seen takeout cups and containers littering the sides of our roadways. Polystyrene can take hundreds of years to decompose, and in the meantime it clogs our local waterways and poses a threat to birds and marine life,” said Briggs, D-Montgomery. “My legislation would mean less of this material ends up in our waterways and in our landfills, and it would help us to reduce our overall impact on the world around us.”

Briggs introduced similar legislation last session. In the fall, he joined environmental groups to announce 15,000 signatures were collected on a petition supporting the ban.

Microplastics – tiny particles often resulting from the breakdown of larger plastic materials – have been found in birds and fish, and last year, were found in human stool samples for the first time, leading to questions about the impact on human health.

“Every day, we are reminded that our disposable society is creating a growing waste problem. It’s time to change the way we live and think,” Briggs said. “We have to do everything we can to keep our air and water clean, and that includes encouraging the use of materials that are more naturally biodegradable and have less of an impact on our environment.”