A Senate bill that would ban restaurants from using single-use plastics, polystyrene and other non-biodegradable products in Delaware.
Senate Bill 134 would ban single-use products such as coffee stirrers, straws, and sandwich picks. It was passed on Thursday by a a narrow margin (1 to 8 with one absent).
“Over the past several decades, the low-cost of these products has made them very popular in our society, but, today, many low-cost alternatives exist that are less harmful,” State Senator Trey Paradee says in a Facebook statement. “As a coastal state with a vibrant tourism industry that is critical to our economy and our quality of life, we need to join other states that have already banned these products and set an example for our children to follow.”
Single-use plastics have been a target of problematic pollution across the country and the world. Earthday.org reports that 380 million metric tons of plastics are produced every year, with many of those products containing carcinogens and other toxic materials. In addition, another 14 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean. A recent study done in Delaware found that an average of 498 pieces of polystyrene per mile littered Delaware highways.
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.