PEP Opposition to SB 244 and HB 346

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On behalf of the Board of Directors and the members of Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP), I am writing you to oppose the passage of Senate Bill 244 and House Bill 346, which would prohibit cites and counties in Alabama from regulating, restricting or prohibiting the litter of bags, cups, bottle and packaging. We are opposed to these bills as they would limit the ability of local elected officials to act to protect their nature resources and environment. The unique natural resources of the Alabama Gulf Coast make this a desirable place to live and do business and are a key economic engine for the entire state.

PEP is a non-profit coalition of business and education leaders who share the vision of applying science-based best environmental practices to business and community issues. Our 220+ member companies, who employ more than 22,000 local citizens, recognize that the future of our area depends on ensuring a balance between business and industrial growth and a healthy environment.

Addressing the extensive trash and litter problem in our local waterways is a high priority in all communities engaged in the extensive watershed management planning being conducted by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. As co-chair of the MBNEP’s Business Resource Committee, PEP has been actively engaged in helping local businesses get involved in cleaning up local waterways, through litter clean-ups, developing package reduction incentive programs and trash containment initiatives. PEP has also invested in the development of small-stream litter capture devices.

Limiting trash at its source is a critical component to comprehensively abating litter, a high priority of local governments across Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The costs of trash management and litter abatement are borne by local government, and by extension burdens taxpayers. They should have the flexibility to consider and employ all options to address these issues. The State legislators should not limit their solutions. We respectfully requests that you oppose these bills and continue your work to protect our rights.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Denson
Executive Director