PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Portland City Council has voted to send a proposed ban of polystyrene containers back to committee.
The move followed a long debate over whether banning the plastic foam actually would serve its purpose of benefiting the environment. A few proponents of the ban rose to speak. They argued that there are plenty of recyclable alternatives to polystyrene, and that polystyrene containers end up in coastal waters and pollute the environment.
Opponents showed up in far greater numbers, with people from groups representing grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores sharply criticizing the proposal. They argued that the ban would be harmful to local businesses, and said alternatives to polystyrene do not do as good a job and are no better for the environment because they, too, are lined with plastic.
Councilors who took issue with the proposal said there were too many issues that still needed to be addressed. They voted 8-1 to send the ordinance back to committee to be further debated and amended.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.