If you've no account register here first time
User Name :
User Email :
Password :

Login Now

Maine Bans Polystyrene Food Containers from Businesses

Maine Bans Polystyrene Food Containers from Businesses
(Photo Credit: Romana Klee, Flickr Creative Commons)

Maine became the first state in the nation to ban polystyrene food and beverage containers. The new law prohibits the sale or distribution of these disposable containers starting January 1, 2020.

Polystyrene containers, which include the trademarked Styrofoam brand, are a significant contributor to environmental plastics pollution, Maine Governor Janet Mills’ office said.

“Due to their light weight, they are easily windblown during waste handling processes. They then break down into microplastics, carrying toxins when ingested by wildlife where they eventually make their way into the nation’s food supply,” her office said. Mills added that polystyrene cannot be recycled like other products, which is why several municipalities across the state had already taken steps to ban it.

The law applies to service ware that includes containers, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, cups, sleeves, and stirrers. There are some exemptions for food establishments, however. One is in an emergency for the “immediate preservation of public health or safety.” Another applies to containers that customers bring to the establishment. A third exemption involves containers that the business purchased prepackaged at wholesale.

Once the ban in Maine goes into effect next year, a violation will be subject to a fine with a maximum of $100, according to the bill’s amendments.

“This legislation will create consistency for businesses that operate in multiple municipalities, provide ample time to adjust to the change, promote sustainable Maine-made alternative containers, and take an important step forward in protecting our environment,” Mills said when she signed the bill into law.

The Associated Press reported that Maryland’s legislature also approved bills to ban polystyrene last month, but whether the Republican Governor Larry Hogan will sign the legislation remains unclear.

Our 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference is coming up May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. If you haven’t already, register to attend here.

Related Stories

Sign up for our newsletter

Receive Environment + Energy Leader's top news stories two times each week

© Copyright 2023 C-Suite Compass LLC. Environmental Leader ® is a registered trademark of C-Suite Compass LLC. Privacy Policy.