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Maine Bill Would Ban Styrofoam Food Containers

AUGUSTA, Maine - Styrofoam food containers would be banned in the state next year, under a bill before the Maine Legislature.

The measure, which had a public hearing this morning before the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, is being sponsored by Rep. Christine Burstein, a Lincolnville Democrat.

Burstein said Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable, petroleum-based product that can take years to decompose and has been linked to cancer.

"Given the facts of the environmental and health costs of Styrofoam, the reality that recycling is not a viable response and the positive effects of bans around the country, my bill is no radical or impractical initiative," she said.

Business groups, including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, testified against the bill, arguing it would be too costly.

The measure would also ban other non-biodegradable, non-compostable containers, unless there is no comparable alternative.

In Maine, Portland and Freeport have already implemented local bans against Styrofoam containers.