In addition to takeout containers, the bill also includes a ban on single-use plastic bags and adds a fee that would be retained by the retailer to cover the cost of supplying paper bags to customers.
Earlier this month, another senate bill sponsored by state Sen. Donzella James, D-Atlanta, also targeted single-use plastic bags.
Senate bill 280 would apply to carryout plastic bags provided by retailers. Bags used for bulk foods or uncooked meat, those containing newspapers, garment bags, bags used for food carryout orders or provided by a pharmacy for prescription drugs would be exempt from the ban. The bill was presented in a senate hearing but is not likely to receive a vote according to committee chairman, Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville.
>> Read More: Georgia senator proposes plastic bag ban
Polystyrene is found in everything from egg cartons to packing peanuts. About 99% of polystyrene ends up in landfills or dumps, according to the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology. It can take thousands of years for polystyrene to decompose because of it’s strength and chemical makeup. During that time, it may release toxins or carcinogens into the environment, according to the Georgia Recycling Coalition.
Though a large amount of polystyrene waste is created annually, it is a challenging material to recycle in large part because of the cost. Coalition data shows it costs a recycling facility $3,320 per ton, or about 20-times more than most other materials, to recycle polystyrene.
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