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

Mayor gives two-year post-Hurricane Laura update

Local News

$3M more in FEMA money to be dedicated to Iowa, LaGrange high school repairs

Local News

Allen Parish a top district for one-year growth on LEAP test

Local News

OLQH students gather for long-standing tradition

life

Monica Smith’s teaching career began with Tiny Steps

Local News

Pro Watercross: National championships return to LC this weekend

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:What’s latest on our voting?

Crime

LaGrange student arrested for bringing gun to school

life

Mom’s school lunches look complicated, but they’re not

Local News

Entergy customers will pay $3.2 billion to reimburse company for repair costs

Local News

United Way to open Entergy Utility Assistance Program Wednesday

Local News

Low potential for tropical cyclone development in southwest Gulf

Crime

8/16: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Elton water services to be shut off at 4 p.m. today

Crime

Sheriff: Teenager shot during Kinder back-to-school party

Crime

8/15: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

LC man charged in Saturday shooting

Local News

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

Crime

BREAKING: Mother charged with murder after 6-month-old left in car five hours

Local News

LAPAW in dire need of fosters, donations

Local News

Voting machine debate: Conspiracies question integrity of elections

Local News

Heart for volunteerism at core of Care Help for 40 years

Local News

Impairment, speed suspected in fatal crash

Crime

8/14: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list