An Act To Require the Use of Reusable Food Ware at Eating Establishments
Sec. 1. 38 MRSA §1611 is enacted to read:
§ 1611. Single-use disposable food ware
(1) The department may grant a waiver under this paragraph if it determines that the prepared food vendor is substantially unable to comply with the requirements of this subsection due to space constraints within the vendor's premises or due to financial hardship. A waiver granted by the department may not exceed a term of 3 years, and the department may not grant to a prepared food vendor multiple waivers whose terms exceed 3 years in total.
(2) If a prepared food vendor is granted a waiver by the department under this paragraph, the vendor is not required to comply with the requirements of this subsection for the term of the waiver but shall comply with the requirements of subsection 3 for all prepared food served on and off the vendor's premises.
(3) The department shall require a prepared food vendor granted a waiver under this paragraph to periodically report to the department on the vendor's efforts to achieve compliance with the requirements of this subsection on or before the date the waiver expires.
(1) Must be accepted for recycling or composting by a majority of the recycling or composting collection programs in the State;
(2) If compostable, must be certified as compostable by a 3rd-party certifying entity recognized by the department; and
(3) Beginning January 1, 2022, and with respect to single-use disposable food ware composed wholly of paper or other natural fiber material, must be free of all intentionally added fluorinated chemicals as certified by a 3rd-party certifying entity recognized by the department.
(1) Prepared food served to but not fully consumed by a customer on a prepared food vendor's premises that is packaged in items of single-use disposable food ware for the customer to take off the vendor's premises;
(2) Any of the following items of single-use disposable food ware made available by a prepared food vendor in accordance with subsection 3: straws, stirrers, cup spill plugs, napkins, condiment packets, utensils and cups; or
(3) A purchase made by a customer with a food instrument distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services under the supplemental nutrition assistance program pursuant to Title 22, section 3104 or the Women, Infants and Children Special Supplemental Food Program of the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
Sec. 2. Effective date. This Act takes effect January 1, 2021.
This bill requires that a prepared food vendor may sell or provide prepared food to a customer for consumption on the vendor's premises only if the prepared food is served to the customer using reusable food ware. The bill also requires that a prepared food vendor may sell or provide prepared food to a customer for consumption off the vendor's premises using single-use disposable food ware only if the prepared food is served to the customer using single-use disposable food ware approved by the Department of Environmental Protection as recyclable or compostable.
The bill also requires that a prepared food vendor selling take-out food to a customer for consumption off the vendor's premises must require payment by the customer of a fee, retained by the prepared food vendor, of 25¢ for certain items of single-use disposable food ware in which the customer's take-out food is served or for each take-out meal served to the customer, whichever is less. The provisions of this bill also apply to a prepared food vendor or other food server providing or serving prepared food to customers at a state facility or state function.
This legislation takes effect January 1, 2021.