SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1872        FILED ON: 1/18/2019

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1205


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Michael J. Barrett


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to restrict the use of polystyrene.







Michael J. Barrett

Third Middlesex


Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex


Mike Connolly

26th Middlesex


Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex


Mathew J. Muratore

1st Plymouth


Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk


John F. Keenan

Norfolk and Plymouth


James K. Hawkins

2nd Bristol


James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester


Andres X. Vargas

3rd Essex


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1872        FILED ON: 1/18/2019

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1205

By Mr. Barrett, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1205) of Michael J. Barrett, Lori A. Ehrlich, Mike Connolly, Jason M. Lewis and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to prohibiting the dispensing of food in disposable food service containers made from polystyrene or from expanded polystyrene.  Public Health.


SEE HOUSE, NO. 3252 OF 2017-2018.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court



An Act to restrict the use of polystyrene.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 111 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 5S, the following section:-

Section 5T. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

“Disposable Food Container” a single-use disposable product used in a food service establishment for serving, transporting, or packaging prepared, ready-to-consume, or uncooked food or beverages,

“Food Establishment” a business that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption, including but not limited to any establishment requiring a permit to operate in accordance with the State Food Code.

“Polystrene” a synthetic resin which is a polymer of styrene, used chiefly as lightweight rigid foams and solid containers.

“Prepared Food” food or beverage for consumption on the premises of a food establishment, using any cooking or food preparation technique. This does not include any raw uncooked meat, fish or eggs unless provided for consumption without further food preparation.

“Retail Establishment” a commercial business facility that sells goods directly to the consumer including but not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, convenience stores, restaurants, retail stores and vendors selling clothing, food, and personal items

(b) Except as provided herein, on or after August 1, 2020, food establishments shall be prohibited from dispensing food to customers in disposable food service containers made from polystyrene.

(c) Except as provided herein, on and after August 1, 2020, retail establishments shall be prohibited from selling or distributing disposable food containers made of polystyrene to customers.

(d) A food establishment may apply to the health department of the town or city in which it operates, showing that the conditions of this provision would cause undue hardship.  The local health department or its designee may defer application of this provision for a food establishment for a one year period.  An undue hardship shall mean a situation unique to the food establishment where there are no reasonable alternatives to the use of polystyrene disposable food service containers and compliance with this provision would cause significant economic hardship to that food establishment.

(e) The commissioner shall promulgate regulations for the enforcement of this section.  Regulations promulgated under this section shall include fines, not to exceed one thousand dollars, for any single violation of subsections (b) and (c).