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Senate advances foam food container ban for final vote; Maryland would be first with a statewide ban

Senate advances foam food container ban for final vote; Maryland would be first with a statewide ban
A sign stands outside an entrance to the Maryland state Senate chamber on Jan. 9, 2019, in Annapolis. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

The Maryland Senate has advanced a bill that would ban the use of the foam products by restaurants and grocery stores to a final vote Monday.

The Democratic-controlled chamber acted Thursday after accepting an amendment that would delay implementation of the ban for six months. The amended bill would ban businesses that sell food from using “expanded polystyrene food service products” — sometimes referred to as Styrofoam — starting July 1, 2020, instead of January.

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County governments would be responsible for enforcing the ban and could impose fines of up to $250 per violation, after first giving a written warning. The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Cheryl Kagan, a Montgomery County Democrat.

A similar bill is pending in the House of Delegates.

The legislation is a priority of House and Senate Democrats in Maryland, meaning it is likely to pass. If the bills become law, Maryland would be the first state with a statewide ban.

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