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WASHINGTON (AP) - Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill Tuesday that will ban the use of plastic foam food containers in the District of Columbia.

The ban on Styrofoam and similar materials is part of a larger environmental cleanup bill approved by the D.C. Council.

Gray signed the bill on Tuesday. The District will join cities including Seattle and San Francisco that have banned plastic foam for environmental reasons. The ban will take effect starting in 2016. Meat trays in grocery stores will be exempt.

Four years ago, the District imposed a 5-cent fee on plastic bags, which advocates credit for reducing the number of discarded bags that end up in the Anacostia River.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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