Westport votes to ban plastic, styrofoam goods at food service businesses

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The town of Westport has voted to ban single-use plastic and styrofoam goods like cups and straws at food service businesses.

Representative Town Meeting members voted in favor of the ordinance unanimously Tuesday night.

The ban includes plastic or styrofoam cups, plastic to-go containers, plastic straws and plastic stirrers.

The rules apply to full-service and fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, delis, food trucks, caterers and institutional cafes in town.

The ordinance will require businesses to transition from disposable items to compostable and recyclable alternatives.

Businesses will still be allowed to use plastic utensils, but only if customers ask for them for takeout orders.

The ordinance also states that anyone who needs a plastic straw for medical reasons can have one.

Pre-packaged food items are exempt from the ban.

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe commented in a statement saying "I was very pleased to witness the passage of the Single Use Plastic Food Service Products Ordinance by our Representative Town Meeting last evening. This ordinance, and the purpose behind it, truly reflects the brand and values of the Town of Westport. We are passionate stewards of the environment and leading the way for other communities to follow by example."

Westport was the first town in the state to ban single-use plastic shopping bags more than a decade ago.

Several other communities including Stamford and New Canaan have also banned plastic bags.

Businesses in violation will be given a written notice. If the issue isn't corrected, they'll be cited and fined $150. However, they can appeal the citation.

The ban goes into effect on October 7.  

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