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Maine Passes the U.S.’s First State Ban on Foam Food Packaging

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Maine has joined a growing list of states, cities, and counties, including 14 towns in Maine, to ban foam food containers in an effort to reduce plastic waste. The move could significantly boost product replacements made from the forest industry in a state where the industry is already dominant.

The bill bans bowls, plates, cups, trays, cartons, and other containers designed to hold prepared food and beverages. Signed by Governor Janet Mills Tuesday, it takes effect January 1, 2021.

Disposable containers made of expanded polystyrene are widely used because they are inexpensive, lightweight, and keep cooked food hot. The containers are also difficult to recycle and easily fracture into small pieces.

They "are a significant contributor to environmental plastics pollution," Mills said in a statement. "Due to their light weight, they are easily windblown during waste handling processes."
More information is available in the full National Geographic article online.  

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