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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island is one step closer to cutting back on waste from take-out containers.

The Senate moved forward with a bill that would ban styrofoam containers and plastic stirrers in restaurants as an effort to reduce litter.

Fairs, farmers markets, hospitals, nursing homes, “meals-on-wheels” type programs, or charitable organizations that provide food for free will still be allowed to pack food in foam containers.

Thursday night, there was no discussion or debate, and the bill passed by a vote of 33-2.

Sen. Joshua Miller, the bill’s sponsor, says both foam takeout containers and plastic stirrers are not cost-effective to recycle, and they endanger animals when becoming litter.

Miller also owns a restaurant, meaning the bill would also directly affect him. He says reducing waste must be a priority for the Ocean State with the central landfill expected to reach capacity by 2040.

The bill now heads to the House where there is a similar legislation up for a vote.

If passed, Rhode Island would join eight other states and Washington D.C. who have enacted similar bans,

It would begin on January 1, 2025.

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