Maine the first state to officially ban single-use Styrofoam cups and containers. Styrofoam is also known as polystyrene, will be formally banned from businesses in Maine after Democratic Maine Governor Janet Mills signed a bill into law.
Sarah Lakeman Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, told the Portland Press Herald, that Maine had proven itself as an environmental leader again. This time Maine is eliminating disposable foam containers that are part of plastic pollution.
Disposable polystyrene containers extensively used, as they are lightweight, inexpensive, and can keep food warm. Anything made from polystyrene is complicated to recycle.
Polystyrene cannot be recycled, like some other products. Polystyrene impacts our environment and wildlife, as it takes decades before it breaks down into particles.
The ban would affect grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and other businesses that have been using polystyrene/styrofoam containers and cups.
According to The Portland Press Herald, the ban will go into effect on January 1, 2020. A few businesses would be excluded, such as hospitals, seafood shippers, or vendors of pre-packaged meat.
New York City banned foam came into effect on January 1, 2019, after a long legal battle.
The EU will introduce measures to reduce the use of plastic containers. By 2025 plastic bottles should be made up of 25% recycled content, and by 2029, 90% of them should be recycled.
EU is also tackling the use of wet wipes that clog sewers. Tobacco filters, wet wipes, sanitary towels, and cups will be labelled should they contain plastic. Packaging will warn consumers of environmental damage should the disposing of these items incorrectly.
It would seem that people are beginning to understand the importance of recycling and how single-use plastics are not recyclable and will never go away.
Below is a list of the most littered items picked up by Ocean Conservancy volunteers last year:
1. Cigarette filters
2. Food and candy wrappers
3. Plastic bottles and caps
4. Plastic shopping bags
6. Plastic food containers and lids
7. Foam food containers
Would you like to volunteer to pick up litter in your community, this year’s World Clean-Up Day will be held on September 15.
Let’s all do our part in helping our environment and live more sustainable.