The 2021 styrofoam ban will affect many local restaurants

Tardie: These Styrofoam food containers we're used to taking home with leftovers after a meal out will soon be a thing of the past. Starting in January 2021 all restaurants in the state of Maine will no longer be able to use Styrofoam cups or food containers.

Ouellette: I guess I wasn't to aware of the I guess the consequences of Styrofoam, and really what it was. So, after doing research and just learning about the different chemicals, and the harm it is to the environment. I mean Styrofoam is not biodegradable, I mean it lasts forever, and unfortunately with us being a seasonal fast food take out place 40 percent of our business is take out, and we do use quite a bit of Styrofoam.

Tardie: Some restaurants are expressing concerns about finding an alternative to Styrofoam Candice Gurley a cook at Rosellas says the ban may have a big impact on smaller locally owned businesses.

Gurley: We're going to be losing customers possibly if we don't have any Styrofoam or containers that are equivalent to Styrofoam to give to the customers. We have people, customers that come in and want to eat their soup here or take it to go. And if we don't have anything to take it to go in then it is going to affect us, because we do a lot of take out. Like I said we use Styrofoam consistently daily.

Forbes: The cost almost quadruples for the same amount of boxes or cups or what not. So, that would definitely be a big con to our industry especially being a small business in a small town. To up those few cents on our end makes things go up a dollar on the customers end so a dollar a dollars a lot.

Tardie: Ouellete adds that he is already testing alternative products and has had some success with them.

Ouellette: At my other restaurant called pizza degree downstate in Waterville we have plastic cups, but they're biodegradable they're made of 100 percent from plants. So, we're going to try that at burger boy to make shakes and see how well that works, and its 100 percent biodegradable cup. It's a little bit more expensive than the foam cups, but in the end its part of us being part of the solution and not being part of the problem.

Tardie: Restaurants do have time to phase out their Styrofoam containers as the new bill passed will not be in effect until 2021. Zachary Tardie N.S.8.