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Maine becomes first state to ban Styrofoam

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By: Ann Smajstrla, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

AUGUSTA, Maine – Styrofoam containers will be officially banned in Mainestarting in 2021 after Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Tuesday.

The law prohibits restaurants, caterers, coffee shops, grocery stores and other “covered establishments” from using containers made of polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, starting Jan. 1, 2021, The Press Herald of Portland reported. Anyone who violates the new law could be fined up to $100, according to News Center Maine.

“Polystyrene cannot be recycled like a lot of other products, so while that cup of coffee may be finished, the Styrofoam cup it was in is not,” Mills said in a statement to CNN affiliate WMTW. “In fact, it will be around for decades to come and eventually it will break down into particles, polluting our environment, hurting our wildlife, and even detrimentally impacting our economy.”

Maine is the first state to enact such a ban, CNN reported. Several communities in Maine, including its most populous city, Portland, already have local ordinances banning foam food and beverage containers, The Press Herald reported.

Maryland’s Legislature has approved bills that would ban polystyrene, but it’s unclear whether Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will sign them into law.

The full bill signed by Mills can be read here.

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