Potential Foam Ban in Helena, MT

Montana lawmaker Rep. Shane Morigeau is promoting the possibility of a polystyrene foam ban across the state. Worried about the effects that the product can have on Montana’s environment, Morigeau believes that a ban is a step in the right direction. However, the strategy of a foam ban will be ineffective as it does not get to the root of the problem, littering. Instead of banning foam, a recyclable product, a more effective solution is an education program to minimize littering and promote recycling.

Foam is not harmful to the environment if it’s recycled properly. There are increasing numbers of recycling centers across America, making foam recycling more accessible to communities like Helena. More than 65 cities have access to curbside recycling for foam, and that number is only growing.

A foam ban is a bad idea because of the numerous benefits to using foam. Compared to foam alternatives, foam is less expensive and more sanitary. Foam is also sturdier than the alternative and is great for keeping food and drinks insulated. Lastly, the foam industry employs thousands of people across America and foam bans potentially eliminate their jobs.

Numerous consumer goods are made from recycled foam. These include things that most people use daily such as pens and picture frames. There are a few household items that can be made from recycled foam, such as foam insulation and crown molding. Recycled foam can also be turned into rulers and pony packs for gardening.

Polystyrene foam does not have a negative effect on Montana’s people and environment, despite Morigeau’s assertions. Ban legislation should be opposed because it does not achieve the paramount goal, namely litter cleanup and abatement.