News & Notes

Action Alert: Take Action to Ban Plastic Bags

Friday, January 20th, 2017
Posted on:

Maine’s Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee is holding a public hearing on LD 57, An Act to Phase Out the Use of Single-use Plastic Shopping Bags, on Wednesday, January 25 at 10:00 a.m. in room 216 of the Cross Office Building in Augusta.

Please attend the hearing and show your support for eliminating single use plastic bags.

LD 57 proposes to prohibit retailers from using plastic bags to bag products at the point of retail sale, with some exceptions, starting September 1, 2020. A retailer may provide recyclable paper bags to bag products at the point of sale and must provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer.

Maine Audubon strongly supports efforts to decrease plastic debris because of its harmful effects wildlife, especially coastal and marine wildlife. We support LD 57 and also support adding a fee for paper bags and a ban on the use of Styrofoam food packaging.

If you can’t attend the hearing, please take a moment and contact ENR Committee members and urge them to support LD 57.

  • Senator Tom Saviello, chair (Wilton) [email protected]
  • Senator Amy Volk (Scarborough) [email protected]
  • Senator Geoff Gratwick (Bangor) [email protected]
  • Representative Ralph Tucker, chair (Brunswick) [email protected]
  • Representative Dick Campbell (Orrington) [email protected]
  • Representative Bob Duchesne (Hudson) [email protected]
  • Representative Jessica Fay (Raymond) [email protected]
  • Representative Denise Harlow (Portland) [email protected]
  • Representative Jonathan Kinney (Limington) [email protected]
  • Representative John Martin (Eagle Lake) [email protected]
  • Representative Jeff Pierce (Dresden) [email protected]
  • Representative Scott Strom (Pittsfield) [email protected]
  • Representative Stanley Zeigler (Montville) [email protected]

Tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles are killed every year due to floating marine debris and beach debris which includes plastic bags and Styrofoam.

Wildlife often mistake plastic bags for food such as jellyfish. Once ingested, a plastic bag cannot be digested or passed by an animal so it stays in the gut. This can prevent food digestion and can lead to a very slow and painful death.

Marine life can also become entangled in plastic bags causing serious injury or death. Entanglement can lead to suffocation, starvation, drowning, increased vulnerability to predators, or other injury. It can also hinder an animal’s movement which results in exhaustion or development of an infection from deep wounds caused by tightening material.

Turning the tide on decreasing plastic debris requires a global effort. Many are helping by taking action at the local level. Now is the time to take action at the state level as well.

Please attend the hearing January 25 at 10:00 a.m. and contact ENR committee members and urge them to support LD 57.

Thank you!

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224



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