AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine House has advanced a bill to ban foam food and beverage containers across the state.

The Portland Press Herald reports that nearly all Democrats and independents supported the bill in the 87-51 vote Thursday. All Republicans opposed it.

The measure would ban businesses like restaurants and grocery stores from selling or serving food in polystyrene containers starting in January 2021.

Several communities in Maine have already adopted local bans on polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam. Maine could be the first in the nation to enact a statewide ban.

Supporters say a ban would reduce litter in the state's lakes, rivers and coastal waters.

Opponents say the ban would burden small business without addressing the underlying "throw-away culture."

(Information from: Portland Press Herald,

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