Maine bans single-use plastic bags, polystyrene will come into effect
The Maine Legislature passed the ban in 2019. It was originally scheduled to come into effect in April 2020, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AUGUSTA, Maine – Statewide bans on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene will begin Thursday, July 1.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection said it is working with retail stores and restaurants to ensure they are prepared for the ban on single-use plastic bags. The Maine Legislature passed the ban in 2019 and it was originally scheduled to come into effect in April 2020.
The state has delayed enforcement of the ban due to aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. The first delay was due to concerns about the transmission of the virus, and a second delay was due to concerns over disruption of packaging supplies due to the pandemic, the DEP said.
When the ban goes into effect, stores and restaurants will not be allowed to supply single-use plastic bags, the DEP said. Grocery stores, retail stores and other large retailers must charge 5 cents for each bag, the agency said.
Styrofoam includes any styrofoam container, bowl, plate, tray, carton, cup, lid, sleeve, stirrer, or other item used to contain, transport, serve or consume prepared foods.
According to the DEP, the polystyrene ban applies to “all businesses and organizations that meet the definition of a food establishment, a catering establishment, an agricultural fair, a farmers market, from a pantry, church, or community organization that provides free food or drink. a boarding house, retirement home, independent residence or retirement home may no longer use styrofoam catering items. “