The Maine law, originally proposed by Rep. Stanley Zeigler (D-Montville), also applies to plastic beverage stirrers.
Those who violate the law could face a fine of up to $100, News Center Maine reports
“Maine has proven itself an environmental leader once again, this time in eliminating disposable foam containers that have become a common, costly, and deadly form of plastic pollution,” said Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), in a statement.
“With the threats posed by plastic pollution becoming more apparent, costly, and even deadly to wildlife, we need to be doing everything possible to limit our use and better manage our single-use plastics — starting with eliminating the use of unnecessary forms like plastic foam.”
The NRCM reports that plastic foam food containers are among the top 10 most commonly littered items in the US.
More than 256 million pieces of disposable foam cups, plates, bowls, platters, and trays are used every year in Maine, the NRCM says.
Some 15 towns in the state have already banned foam food containers, it says.
The reason why Styrofoam is difficult to clean up is that it easily breaks into smaller pieces, according to Ashley Van Stone, executive director of Trash Free Maryland.
Foam also absorbs toxins faster than other plastics and is mistaken for food by marine life, Van Stone said. And the toxins that wildlife consumes makes its way up the food chain into people.