CNMI moves towards styrofoam ban in 2020

10:42 am on 21 November 2019

A representative in the Northern Marianas is preparing a bill that would ban the use of styrofoam and other disposable food containers beginning January 2022.

Styrofoam cups

Photo: 123RF

Ivan Blanco's bill would ban the containers but concedes businesses need time to exhaust their inventory and seek environmentally safer containers, the Marianas Variety reports.

If the bill becomes law, it would impose a fine of up to $US100 for any violation.

However, there would be an exemption for the use of styrofoam "in an emergency". Pre-packaged wholesale products will be exempt.

According to the bill, the CNMI has no feasible means of recycling polystyrene foam, so the majority of used polystyrene ends up in the landfill.

There should be "regulations [to] prohibit the use of certain expanded polystyrene food service products and disposable food service ware to reduce the cost of solid waste disposal, to protect our fragile environment and ecosystems, and our wildlife and marine life," the bill stated.