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06 • 15 • 2021

Protect Maine's Foam Ban!

We worked to prevent an exemption to our foam ban law that would have exempted certain foam trays.

UPDATE JUNE 15, 2021

The Environment and Natural Resources Committee reported LD1631 out of Committee on June 7, 2021, with a recommendation that it pass as amended, and Governor Mills signed the bill into law on June 15, 2021.

 Amendment Summary:

“This amendment provides that, beginning July 1, 2025, the definition of “disposable food service container” includes service ware used to contain, transport or otherwise package raw, uncooked or butchered meat, poultry, fish, seafood or eggs. The amendment also repeals, effective July 1, 2025, the current exemption for a covered establishment to sell at retail food or beverages in or on a polystyrene foam disposable food service container that the covered establishment purchases prepackaged at wholesale.” 

The amendment carried in the House on June 9, and the Senate on June 10, and is headed to the Governor for her consideration.

The result allows meat trays and egg cartons made from foam to continue to be used for four more years, at which point they will be banned (on July 1, 2025) as originally intended.

The intent of LD1631 was to exempt meat trays and egg cartons from the law in perpetuity, which failed. Win!

We provided written testimony to the Maine State Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources ahead of their May 10, 2021, public hearing on LD1631.

To engage directly, please give a shout!


We oppose LD1631, an act to amend the laws banning polystyrene foam to exclude packaging for meat, poultry, fish, seafood and eggs.

Concerns surrounding the inclusion of foam trays and cartons used for meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs in laws that prohibit expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam foodwares are generally centered around a lack of access to information on viable replacement products or unfounded concerns regarding health and safety.

While better for people and the planet than EPS foam yet still single-use and imperfect, trays made from plant fiber or recyclable PET, which have rounded edges that do not tear stretch film wrapping, are widely used without issue in areas with bans on EPS foam trays.

The city of San Francisco initially banned EPS foam foodware and required that all takeout food packaging be recyclable or compostable. On July 19th, 2016, however, the Board of Supervisors expanded the ban on use and distribution to include a prohibition on the sale of non-recyclable non-compostable polystyrene food service ware, egg cartons, meat trays, and packing materials, as well as coolers, effective January 1, 2017. Upon passage, the City provided a chart of vendors that make suitable products as a way to help connect affected businesses to resources.