Portland to Ban Foam Packaging?

Written by Lane Flynn   
Thursday, March 14 2013

At PackRed, we want to help businesses streamline their shipping process through the use of air pillows. Whether you’re a large company or someone who sells on Etsy, we want to provide a simple solution that’s affordable and also Eco-friendly. That’s why we enjoyed reading about the city of Portland’s recent decision to move away from the use of Styrofoam.

Along with counties in California, Portland is also considering banning the use of Styrofoam in businesses and schools. Groups like The Green Packaging Working Group, led by City Councilor Ed Suslovic, includes representatives from Environment Maine, the Maine Restaurant Association, the Maine Audubon Society, the Maine Grocers Association, several local businesses and city residents. All of these groups are pushing for this initiative to go through.

At this point, the biggest deterrent to this passing is the amount of money that will cost businesses and schools. A cafeteria for example, paying 3 cents for a foam tray would now have to pay 12 cents for another Eco-friendly option..While not sounding that expensive, this could actually quadruple the school’s costs. And businesses that utilize Styrofoam cups would take a pretty big hit as well.

As we noted in the other post, Styrofoam can have damaging effects to marine life, add tons of tiny messy pieces for clean-up and simply won’t biodegrade. The most vocal proponent, Ed Suslovic, notes, “Polystyrene doesn't biodegrade, is virtually impossible to recycle, and has been identified by health experts as a carcinogen," he said. "It’s time we work together to craft a policy that eliminates the risks associated with this product in a way that maintains the public health and minimizes the impact on local businesses.”

This process will take time, but we support using products that help keep our customers and the environment cleaner.