May 1, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Maine just became the first state to ban Styrofoam

A pile of styrofoam food containers

Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

In an effort to rein in marine pollution, Maine passed a bill banning food containers made from Styrofoam on Tuesday, making it the first state to enact such legislation, according to Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Details: The law will take effect in 2021 and applies to single-use food and drink foam containers often used by restaurants and retailers. Hospitals, food distributors and state-funded meals-on-wheels programs are exempt from having to eliminate the polystyrene containers, per the AP.

  • Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon and Vermont have similar bans in the works, and individual communities like Berkeley, California, have passed bans, some going back to the 1980s.
  • A handful of businesses have vowed to or already gone through the process of discontinuing the use of foam cups, including Dunkin’ and McDonald’s, the AP reports.
  • Last December, the European Union banned some single-use plastics.
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