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Polystyrene container ban passes day after failure

Legislation to ban polystyrene foam takeout containers and cups failed to pass the Oregon House, becoming the first bill to fail a floor vote this session.

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 11:19 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2019 12:30 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on a proposed polystyrene foam ban (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

The Oregon House moved forward with a ban on foam takeout containers just one day after voting it down.

Lawmakers voted 32-28 Tuesday to prohibit restaurants from providing containers made from polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

The proposal had failed Monday after opponents argued that restaurants will replace the Styrofoam containers with products that do even more harm to the environment.

They also said Styrofoam is recyclable and note that one Oregon company will recycle the to-go containers customers drop off.

Major cities including New York, Los Angeles and Seattle already have such bans in place. A Maryland bill prohibiting the containers is awaiting the governor's signature.

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8:16 a.m.

Legislation to ban polystyrene foam takeout containers and cups failed to pass the Oregon House, becoming the first bill to fail a floor vote this session.

The Statesman Journal reports the bill failed on a 29-29 vote Monday after a 30-minute discussion. It may come back to the floor for reconsideration.

Rep. Sheri Schouten, a Democrat from Beaverton and the bill's chief sponsor, said these plastics break apart easily and stay in the environment as tiny particles that find their way into rivers and ultimately into the ocean.

Opponents said a Tigard company, Agilyx, has begun recycling polystyrene dropped off by consumers.

They said banning polystyrene would just encourage restaurants to use other plastics that are less recyclable.

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