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    ABINGTON

    Town bans styrofoam food containers

    Styrofoam takeout containers will soon be banned in Abington, one of the first communities south of Boston to disallow their use.

    The town’s health agent, Sharon White, said the Board of Health voted 4-1 last month to establish the prohibition.

    Beginning Jan. 1, establishments may be fined $100 for violating the new rule; the board can, however, grant deferments to applicants arguing hardship. The fines increase for subsequent offenses.

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    White said the town’s School Department has been the only one so far to ask for the deferment, arguing that its budget had already been set for the year. The deferment was approved.

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    White said no one spoke against the proposal at the public hearing. She said the ban was put into effect because styrofoam, also known as styrene, is a carcinogen and is unhealthy for people and the environment.

    The same or similar ban has been approved in 25 cities and towns in the state, according to information provided by Ed Coletta, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.

    Those communities include Brookline, Cambridge, Ipswich, Dennis, Concord, Wayland, Westford, and Stockbridge.

    Jean Lang can be reached at jeanmcmillanlang@gmail.com.