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Maine Lawmakers Vote To Ban Polystyrene Food Containers

Mark Lennihan
/
AP Photo

Under legislation approved by lawmakers Thursday, most uses of polystyrene food containers will be banned in Maine after Jan. 1, 2021.

Harpswell Democratic Senator Brownie Carson urged colleagues to support the ban.

“Polystyrene has shown to be carcinogenic and a neurotoxin when heated, according to the national toxicology program, especially when in the proximity of grease,” says Carson.

Opponents criticized the bill as bad for business, increasing costs for food sellers.

The measure would allow the use of polystyrene by hospitals and meals on wheels programs.

“I see this bill as a bad business bill that does nothing to address littering and recycling challenges in this state. It adds costs to small businesses,” says Sen. Jeff Timberlake.

Gov. Janet Mills has ten days to sign the legislation, veto it or let it become law without her signature.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.