Maine becomes the first state to ban plastic foam



AUGUSTA, Maine -- Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill last night that bans polystyrene foam -- commonly referred to as Styrofoam -- cups and containers in the state of Maine. Having passed the legislature a week ago, Maine now becomes the first state in the U.S. to have a foam ban on the books.

Polystyrene foam is one of the most commons and hazardous forms of single-use plastic. Less than 3 percent of it is recycled, and once in landfills or the natural environment, it persists for hundreds of years.

In a single year, Americans throw out 25 billion polystyrene foam cups, part of the 8 million tons of plastic that is dumped in waterways every year. A recent study found that of all the polystyrene and other plastics ever made, 79 percent currently exist in landfills or in our rivers, lakes and oceans. Pieces of plastic have been found in every corner of the planet, from Pyrenees alpine lakes to the deepest ocean trenches, ingested by sea turtles and humans alike.

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