Reid Lifset

Recent Articles

Changing the Waste Makers: Product Bans and the New Politics of Garbage

Thousands of solid waste bills were introduced in state and local legislatures last year. Their purposes ranged from promoting the use of recycled materials to authorizing disposal fees and requiring residents to sort their trash. A remarkable number, however, called for banning products and materials thought to harm the environment or to be overloading landfills and other waste management facilities. Portland, Oregon, for example, banned polystyrene foam (or "styrofoam") food containers and even has an enforcement agent known as the "styro cop." Maine banned "brickpack" juice containers; Vermont has been considering a ban on disposable diapers.

Changing the Waste Makers: Product Bans and the New Politics of Garbage

Thousands of solid waste bills were introduced in state and local legislatures last year. Their purposes ranged from promoting the use of recycled materials to authorizing disposal fees and requiring residents to sort their trash. A remarkable number, however, called for banning products and materials thought to harm the environment or to be overloading landfills and other waste management facilities. Portland, Oregon, for example, banned polystyrene foam (or "styrofoam") food containers and even has an enforcement agent known as the "styro cop." Maine banned "brickpack" juice containers; Vermont has been considering a ban on disposable diapers.