Del. Bill Targets Polystyrene Containers, Plastic Stirrers


Polystyrene containers and plastic straws are targeted in new legislation in the Delaware General Assembly.

A bill (SB 134) has been introduced that would prohibit restaurants from serving food in containers made of what’s commonly branded Styrofoam. Also, establishments would not provide single-use plastic straws unless requested by the customer.

Single-use plastic coffee stirrers, cocktail picks and sandwich picks could also be banned.

Senator Trey Paradee, D-Dover and Representative Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington West said Wednesday that reducing the use of these plastics could benefit future generations as well as wildlife.

“We have a responsibility to future generations to reduce the amount of these products entering our environment,” said Sen. Paradee, D-Dover. “These products are harmful to wildlife and are potentially dangerous to human health. Over the past several decades, the low-cost of these products has made them very popular in our society, but, today, many low-cost alternatives exist that are less harmful. As a coastal state with a vibrant tourism industry that is critical to our economy and our quality of life, we must join other states that have already banned these products and set an example for the world to follow.” 

“We only have one planet, and our ecosystem is being choked by pollution such as these single-use products,” Brady said. “Everyone who has ordered to-go meals, especially during the past year, knows how quickly these containers can pile up. Multiply that across thousands of households across the state and you realize how serious this issue is, and a lot of these packages wind up on the roadside or in our waterways. Moving away from non-biodegradable food containers is another critical step toward protecting our environment.”