HB618 (2021) Detail

Relative to the sale and distribution of polystyrene food service products.










AN ACT relative to the sale and distribution of polystyrene food service products.


SPONSORS: Rep. Spang, Straf. 6; Sen. Whitley, Dist 15; Sen. Perkins Kwoka, Dist 21; Sen. Watters, Dist 4


COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs






This bill prohibits the sale or distribution of polystyrene foam in food service businesses.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One


AN ACT relative to the sale and distribution of polystyrene food service products.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Purpose.  It is the purpose of this act to:

I. Achieve source reduction pursuant to RSA 149-M:3 to mitigate the harmful effects of polystyrene foam food service products on New Hampshire’s municipalities and natural resources.

II.  Relieve the pressure on municipal and county landfills to manage the disposition of single- use polystyrene food service products.

III.  Implement source reduction, the first goal in the hierarchy of solid waste management solutions in Section 149-M:3.

2  New Subdivision; Prohibition of  Single-use Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products.  Amend RSA 149-M by inserting after section 23 the following new subdivision:

Prohibition of Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products

149-M:23-a  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

I.  "Disposable food service product" means food containers designed for one-time use.  "Disposable food service container" includes service ware for beverages, trays, take-out foods, packaged meat, eggs, bakery products, and leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared by food vendors.

II.  "Food service business" means a business that sells or provides food for consumption on or off the premises, and includes, but is not limited to, any restaurant, cafe, delicatessen, coffee shop, supermarket or grocery store, vending truck or cart, food truck, movie theater, school, business, or institutional cafeteria, including those operated by or on behalf of the state.  “Food service business” does not include health care facilities or Meals on Wheels programs.

III.  "Polystyrene foam" means blown polystyrene and expanded or extruded foams using a styrene polymer.

IV.  "Service product" means a food container, bowl, plate, tray, carton, hot and cold beverage cup, lid, or other item designed to be used for foods or beverages.

149-M:23-b  Prohibition on Single-Use Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products.  

I.  Beginning January 1, 2022, no food service business shall sell or distribute in the state a disposable food service product for foods or beverages that is composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam.

II.  The following items are exempt from the prohibition in this section:

(a)  Factory-sealed, aseptically-packaged shelf-stable foods.

(b)  Uncooked meat, fish, poultry, or seafood for off-premises preparation and consumption.

(c)  Food or beverages that have been packaged in expanded polystyrene outside the state before receipt by a food service business.

III  This section shall not prohibit a person from re-using polystyrene packaging received with products distributed from out of state.

IV.  A food service business shall not be in violation of a prohibition under this subdivision if the  food service business:

(a) Purchased the  polystyrene foam food service product prior to January, 2022; and

(b)  Provides the polystyrene food service product to a consumer on or before July 1, 2022.

149-M:23-c  Municipalities shall have the sole authority under this subdivision to regulate, implement, and enforce the prohibition on polystyrene foam food service products.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2022.


HB618 at GenCourtMobile
HB618 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 16, 2021 House Hearing
March 2, 2021 House Exec Session
March 3, 2021 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB618 Revision: 31973 Date: Jan. 14, 2021, 12:48 p.m.


: Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass

: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 10-9; RC) HC 18 P. 66

March 2, 2021: Executive Session: 03/02/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/95215897452

March 3, 2021: ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 03/03/2021 01:30 pm Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/98917516497 (if necessary)

Feb. 16, 2021: Public Hearing: 02/16/2021 10:30 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/95175123874 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.

Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Commerce and Consumer Affairs HJ 2 P. 57