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Hey there, sustainable life warriors! We have some exciting news that’s sure to make your day. On Monday, Oregon leaped into action and became the 10th state in the U.S. to ban polystyrene foam food containers, those pesky little nuisances linked to health and environmental hazards. And that’s not all – they’ve also banned toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS in food packaging!
Source: KGW News/Youtube
Starting in 2025, Oregon’s new law will prohibit the production, sale, and distribution of polystyrene foam cups, takeout food containers, and even coolers and packing peanuts. The Beaver State is making a serious commitment to ditch single-use plastics and replace them with reusable alternatives.
Now, this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. It’s the result of a persistent effort led by Oregon state Senator Janeen Sollman and her bipartisan allies. They’ve been itching to ban this plastic offender for a long time, and finally, their day has come.
Polystyrene foam, a plastic derived from fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals, has been a public health and environmental nightmare. Its main component, styrene, a probable carcinogen, can seep from the material over time or when exposed to high heat. Plus, it’s non-recyclable, often ending up as microplastics in our oceans, causing harm to marine life.
But Oregon didn’t stop at polystyrene. They’ve also banned PFAS, chemicals notorious for their persistence in the environment and our bodies, from being added to plates, bowls, cups, and other foodware. These “forever chemicals” have been linked to cancer, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol.
What’s even more inspiring is Oregon’s effort to promote the use of reusable containers. A second law signed by Governor Tina Kotek will make it legal for consumers to bring their own reusable takeout containers to restaurants.
Now, we all know that we can’t recycle our way out of the plastic crisis. As Oregon state Representative Maxine Dexter wisely said, “We absolutely have to use less.” The solution lies in reducing plastic production and changing consumer behavior to encourage the use of reusable containers.
And that’s where you come in, fellow sustainability champions! Let’s take a page out of Oregon’s book and make a conscious effort to cut down on single-use plastics in our daily lives. Bring your own containers when you go out to eat, invest in a reusable water bottle, say no to plastic straws – every little bit helps!
As we celebrate Oregon’s progressive move, it’s also time for us to put pressure on other states and even federal lawmakers to follow suit. Let’s Support policies like the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, a federal policy that could potentially ban most single-use plastics. Together, we can contribute to a healthier, sustainable future!
- LA County Takes a Stand: Banning Single-Use Plastics
- France to Ban Plastic Packaging for Produce Next Year
- Egg-cellent Insulation: How to Repurpose Egg Trays and More to Keep Your Home Warm and Cozy
- Types of Toxic Food Packaging to Avoid
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!