Troy Moon, Staff Assistant Portland Public Services
Richard Petrone, Huhtamaki
Curtis Picard, Retail Association of Maine
Cathy Ramsdell, Friends of Casco Bay
Sally Trice, Portland Citizen
About the Work Group
Plastic packaging is one of the most common forms of litter in the City of Portland.
Polystyrene is a product commonly used in various forms of packaging and has been identified as a chemical that poses serious environmental and public health risks. The National Institute of Health lists it as a substance reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The risk increases when it is used to store hot foods or liquids.
Recycling polystyrene is expensive, so it often ends up in landfills, where it is easily blown out and into the environment, posing a danger to animals that consume it.
Plastic grocery bags take about 20 years to biodegrade, and in that process contaminate the soil and waterways.
For these reasons, the Portland City Council has formed the Green Packaging Working Group to investigate the possibility of reducing or eliminating the use of plastic packaging in the city. The first meeting was held April 8, 2013.