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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island is taking steps to try to cut down on litter.
Gov. Dan McKee has signed a bill into law that bans restaurants from using Styrofoam takeout containers and plastic stirrers.
Sen. Joshua Miller, one of the bill’s sponsors, says foam containers and plastic stirrers are not cost-effective to recycle and can endanger wildlife.
“Foam is one of the worst offenders when it comes to single-use food packaging,” Miller said. “It is generally not recycled, and its light weight allows it to easily blow away when it becomes litter, harming our land and marine environments.”
Miller noted that he owns a restaurant, meaning the law directly affects him. He said reducing waste must be a priority for Rhode Island, with the state’s central landfill expected to reach capacity by 2040.
Similar bans have been enacted in eight other states and Washington, D.C.
Fairs, farmers markets, hospitals, nursing homes, and programs like Meals on Wheels will still be allowed to pack food in foam containers.
The ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.
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