Maine becomes 1st state to ban single-use foam containers

Maine becomes 1st state to ban single-use foam containers
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, polystyrene foam soup containers are stacked in a New York restaurant. Maine is banning single-use food and drink containers made from polystyrene foam. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill into law Tuesday, April 30, 2019; environmental advocates say that makes Maine the first state to ban disposable foam food containers. Supporters say the law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021, will reduce litter in the state's lakes, rivers and coastal waters. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine has become the first state to ban single-use food and drink containers made from polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill into law Tuesday.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine says Maine’s the first state to enact such a ban. Similar legislation passed Maryland’s legislature in April, but it’s unclear whether that state’s Republican governor will sign it.

Supporters say the law will reduce litter in lakes, rivers and coastal waters. It takes effect in 2021.

Mills called it an “important step forward in protecting our environment.” She said it creates consistency for businesses while providing time to adjust.

The law prohibits “covered establishments” like restaurants and grocery stores from using polystyrene containers. Hospitals, seafood shippers and stores selling pre-packaged meat are exempt.