Legislative committee votes to ban Styrofoam boxes, plastic bags

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A Legislative committee voted Monday to ban Styrofoam boxes and plastic bags in Connecticut.

The committee voted in favor of the ban due to environmental concerns. Environmentalists have warned for years that Styrofoam and plastic are bad for landfills, waterways and animals.

Some business owners worry that a ban on Styrofoam and plastic will be bad for business.

Juan Martinez, of Tacos El Azteca, converted a school bus into a taco truck. He relies on plastic bags and Styrofoam boxes to serve tacos to his customers. Martinez says those products help keep costs down.

Customers like Adam Shapiro, of Stamford, say they are in favor of the ban.

"I know it'll raise costs for them, so, I think it should be a mutual decision, if possible, through them and the state of course," says Shapiro.

The state Restaurant Association says members are already voluntarily phasing out plastics. The foam industry says the focus should be on recycling. Foam can be recycled, but no communities in western Connecticut offer that option.

Martinez says if the change comes he will adapt and make sure not to pass on the extra cost to his customers.

The ban could include a hardship exception for small businesses like Tacos El Azteca. Lawmakers are also considering a ban on plastic straws, unless customers ask for them.

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