OLYMPIA—Today, the Washington Senate passed Senate Bill 5022, which would phase out polystyrene foam food service products, packing peanuts, and coolers, and require disposable plastic straws, utensils and condiments to be given upon request only, with a bipartisan vote of 31-17. The bill is supported by Plastic-Free Washington, a coalition of forty groups, including Environment Washington.
Plastic foam, straws, and utensils are among the most prevalent, hazardous, and non-recyclable forms of single-use plastic pollution, both in Washington and across the country. The Ocean Conservancy consistently ranks polystyrene foam among the top 10 most commonly found forms of beach trash in the International Coastal Cleanup.
In response, Environment Washington campaign associate Mandy Apa released the following statement:
“The Washington Senate just took a major step to reduce plastic waste by passing a statewide ban on polystyrene foam food service products, packing peanuts and coolers, and requiring disposable plastic straws, utensils and condiments to be given upon request. Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing issues facing Washington’s rivers, oceans, and wildlife. Single-use plastics inevitably end up in our waterways and on our beaches, and this pollution is damaging our ecosystems and endangering public health.
Nothing we use for 10 minutes should be allowed to pollute our environment for hundreds of years. The passage of this bill would, if passed, make Washington a national leader in preventing plastic pollution, and we are thrilled that the Washington Senate has taken action. We look forward to the Washington House following suit.”
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Environment Washington is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.