Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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Dutchess legislature near unanimous in banning plastic foam at chain restaurants

POUGHKEEPSIE – Only one chain would be impacted by a local law restricting polystyrene foam food service containers in Dutchess County.  Dunkin Donuts reportedly is the only major chain still using them.

During public comment at the start of the county legislature’s monthly meeting, several spoke, including many associated with the container industry who opposed the measure. 

Several students from one elementary school class read short comments supporting the law. 

The ban, approved with just one ‘no’ vote, would not apply to small so-called ‘mom and pop’ stores. It would, however, apply to containers sold at all county-sponsored events, or held at county facilities. It would also apply to other chain restaurants should they go back to using foam. 

Republican Greg Pulver, one of the authors and sponsors of the local law, said as a farmer, he sees some firsthand evidence of the damage plastic foam can do to the environment.

“We do farm almost 2,000 acres of ground in Dutchess County and a little bit in Columbia and I can tell you that we see remnants of polystyrene and Styrofoam all over the place,” Pulver said.

Democrat Joel Tyner, frequently a champion of environmental issues, praised the bipartisan support for the law.

The one dissent came from Republican Angela Flesland. 

 


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