Litter proposal to create task force advances to House

Trash Litter – stockCreative Commons

BATON ROUGE — A state senator told a House committee Thursday that his litter resolution is an effort to get the best minds in the state together to try to solve the state’s litter problems, which never seem to end.

Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, is the lead author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 42, which would create the Louisiana Trash and Litter Task Force. It moves to the House floor for debate.

The resolution says that “litter and illegal dumping are pervasive problems in our state, impacting state highways, parks, waterways, open spaces, and private and public properties.”

Other anti-litter efforts have failed, Appel told the House Governmental Affairs Committee, and he wants this task force to take the issue seriously.

“We have to find a way to end this problem, not by just having a cleanup day, but get into the nuts and bolts of what other states are doing,” he said.

Appel said he wasn’t advocating the same thing, but that Massachusetts levies a $5,500 fine for first-offense littering because the state takes it seriously.

Research on the litter that is floating down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico also needs attention because much of it is being eaten by the state’s shrimp and fish, he said.

Rep. Lance Harris, RAlexandria, told Appel about scientists creating — by accident — a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drink bottles. The plastic-eating bugs were discovered at a Japanese dump.

A report in The Guardian’s April 16 U.S. edition said that “the mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic — far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans.”

A University of Portsmouth, UK, professor who led the research said, “What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we an literally recycle it back to plastic.”

The resolution says that “dumping of litter and trash not only degrades Louisiana’s unparalleled natural beauty, but also negatively affects the state’s environmental protection and economic development efforts.”

The task force would comprise 18 members, including legislators on a number of committees, heads of state departments, the executive director of Keep America Beautiful, the president of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and the president of the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store Association. The members could designate others to represent them.

A professor at LSU would be involved in the task force effort, Appel said. A report would be presented to the Legislature 60 days prior to the 2019 regular session. It would include task force findings and recommendations.

 
 

Local News

First legislative session was mixed bag for Landry

Local News

Cassidy among leaders marking D-Day anniversary in France

Crime

6/4: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

New Orleans plans to spiff up as host of next year’s Super Bowl

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Disappointing session is over

Crime

State Police investigating officer-involved shooting on I-10

Local News

Rousse: Expect more specialized degrees at McNeese, fewer general studies offerings

Local News

McNeese Rodeo Team going to the College National Finals Rodeo 

life

Lake Area Beekeepers Club to present program at the Sulphur Library

life

VIDEO: Dinosaurs take over Central Library

Local News

Cassidy: Insurance crisis hurting Louisiana families

Crime

Arrest made in LaGrange Street shooting

Crime

6/4: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

President Biden’s brother, son’s widow among witnesses expected at Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial

Crime

Iowa man gets 10-year sentence for sexual battery, domestic abuse

Local News

Yet another round of thunderstorms expected this afternoon

life

Westlake Recreation Center renamed after local ‘icon’

Local News

‘This close’ but Tigers can’t hold on, season ends

LSU Sports

‘This close,’ but Tigers come home empty

life

United Way empowering the youth of SW La. with Summer of Service initiative

Local News

Lawmakers approve surgical castration of child sex offenders

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Free junior golf clinic

Crime

Crimes against nature conviction, sentence will stand

Local News

Sexually transmitted disease rates a cause for concern in La.