Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers

Last updated: May 5, 2019

Details about this bill
Category: Environmental
Status: Passed
Sponsor: Representative Stanley Zeigler, House 96
Session: 129
Bill #: LD 289



UPDATE: Governor Mills has signed the bill into law. It will take effect in 2021.

UPDATE: Committee amended the bill to exempt seafood/lobster. Bill would take effect January 1, 2021.

UPDATE 3/30/19: The majority amendment of the bill is here. It would replace the bill, repeals the existing law regarding nondegradable food and beverage containers and enacts a new provision of law regarding disposable food service containers. Under the amendment, beginning January 1, 2021, a food establishment is prohibited, subject to certain exemptions, from processing, preparing, selling or providing food or beverages in or on a disposable food service container that is composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam. The amendment also:

1. Excludes from the definition of "disposable food service container" polystyrene foam coolers and ice chests that are used for the processing or shipping of seafood;

2. Adds sleeves and stirrers to the definition of "service ware";

3. Excludes from the definition of "food establishment" hospitals licensed under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, chapter 405 and so-called meals on wheels establishments funded in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the Department of Health and Human Services; and

4. Incorporates from the existing law, which was repealed in the amendment, regarding nondegradable food and beverage containers certain definitions, a penalty provision and a prohibition on the use of plastic beverage stirrers by food establishments providing or serving beverages at a facility or function of the State or of a political subdivision.


Beginning January 1, 2020, this bill prohibits the sale or distribution in the State of disposable food service containers composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam. The bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules to implement these statutory provisions.