BOSTON (WWLP) – In an attempt to make Massachusetts more green, a possible plastic ban could be in the future.

They may be convenient but they are also harmful to the environment. Under legislation on Beacon Hill, certain materials like polystyrene could be banned. Polystyrene can be made as a hard plastic or foam, like Styrofoam.

The bill would ban single use products like plates, cup lids and utensils. It also puts in place a timeline by starting this ban next August. This ban wouldn’t just apply to restaurants, it would also apply to grocery stores and other places of business that sell such material.

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association said in a statement, “Now, more than ever, restaurants are aware of the importance of reducing their environmental impact and increasing their sustainability practices. Blanket bans inevitably cause supply chain issues because not every item subject to a ban has a suitable alternative.”

MassPIRG, believes people need to start making the connection between single-use plastics and climate change, saying products like polystyrene are made from fossil fuels to begin with.

“Over the last couple of years, there’s been this recognition, realization, that plastics are largely not recyclable, but that’s the end game. With polystyrene or Styrofoam, before you even get there, it’s made of stuff we don’t want to be using anymore. So back end, front end… bad news. Let’s get rid of it,” said Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MassPIRG.

Restaurants could delay implementation for one year if the provisions would “cause significant economic hardship.”

The bills remain in committee and MassPIRG said they believe this is the session the bill could make it to the floor for a vote.

Local News

Ellen Fleming is a reporter at the Boston State House who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Ellen on X @EllenFlem and view her bio to see more of her work.