• The Star Staff

Lawmakers seek to ban foam coolers from beaches

By John McPhaul


Lawmakers asked Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced over the weekend to include in the extraordinary session a measure to prohibit foam coolers on the island’s beaches.

Carolina District Rep. Ángel Matos asked the governor to include in the upcoming special session House Bill (HB) 438, whose purpose is to prohibit foam coolers on the beaches and all other bodies of water in Puerto Rico.

“Once again in the Isla Verde area and all of Puerto Rico we wake up with large amounts of garbage, including the foam coolers that do so much damage to the environment,” Matos said. “Even the message of leaving the beaches clean … needs tools and teeth so that the very few who think that beaches are landfills desist from the practice [of littering].”

HB 438 proposes to prohibit the use of polystyrene coolers, better known as “foam” portable coolers, on the beaches of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.

“I hope that the measure will be included in the extraordinary session to be convened in the coming days and we will put an end to foam coolers on our beaches and coasts,” Matos said.

Over the July 4 holiday weekend, many revelers celebrated on the local beaches, leaving behind a large amount of trash in places like Ocean Park in San Juan and Piñones in Carolina and Loíza.

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