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Lawmakers consider ban on disposable foam containers

May 26, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a proposal to ban food service establishments from using disposable foam containers and plastic stirrers.

Democratic Rep. David Bennett, of Warwick, introduced the bill. It’s based on legislation signed by Maine’s governor in April that bans single-use food and drink containers made from polystyrene foam — commonly known as Styrofoam — in 2021.

Maine was the first state to ban the containers. Connecticut’s House passed a ban Tuesday, which awaits Senate action.

Environmental groups have sought such bans amid rising public awareness of how foam and plastic accumulates in the oceans.

Bennett says he wants to eliminate waste that’s generally not recycled, in favor of environmentally-friendly packaging. He’s sponsoring a separate bill to prohibit restaurants from providing plastic straws, unless the customer requests one.

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