Styrofoam coolers, cups and takeout containers banned June 1 in Washington State

Styrofoam containers will be officially banned in Maine starting in 2021 after Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Tuesday.

Starting June 1 expanded polystyrene products such as portable coolers, plates, cups and takeout containers will be banned in Washington State.

These containers are not to be sold in stores or given out by businesses such as restaurants. Even if businesses have previously purchased the banned items, they are not allowed to sell or distribute them beginning June 1.

The expanded polystyrene ban began in June 2023 when the state banned packing peanuts.

The Washington State Department of Ecology says expanded polystyrene is difficult and expensive to recycle. Also, the material is brittle and breaks up into tiny pieces that contaminate the environment.

The Department of Ecology says they will respond to non-compliant businesses to help in gaining compliance. Repeated violations could result in a $250 fine.

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