It’s incredible, in this day and age, restaurants and packaging companies still use Styrofoam, while knowing darn well that it is wreaking havoc on the planet. But alas there is hope. According to EcoWatch, Maine is officially the first state to announce that it will ban the harmful product. This is fantastic news, because we will now see the elimination of polystyrene from places like grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and food trucks. And guess what? Similar to the elimination of single use plastics, the doing away with Styrofoam means that businesses will simply have to figure out replacements for the eco-unfriendly packing materials and containers.
Once again, we are seeing that these types of initiatives must come from the top down, because the majority of businesses will not step up and do the right thing without being told to do so.
The funny thing is, talking to restaurant owners that have ditched products such as straws, or replaced them with biodegradable versions, many have told me that the switch was no big deal, and they mainly needed an incentive to do away with the supposed convenience. One local restaurateur told me that he was flabbergasted to see that customers weren’t even asking for the straws once he removed them from the bar. “I always thought they wanted them, and they would be upset if I took them away,” he told me. “I don’t think they even notice that they are gone!”
In addition to Maine (ban starts in 2021), 11 other states are considering a ban on Styrofoam, including Colorado, New Jersey, and Oregon, according to EcoWatch.
New York City initiated a ban on Styrofoam on January 1, 2019 (with a 6 month complaint grace period), but there is nothing similar in place for the entire state… yet.