Single-Use Styrofoam Ban in NYC
Beginning on July 1, 2015, single-use Styrofoam products will be banned in New York City as per a decision made by Mayor De Blasio in the beginning of January. Food service establishments, stores and manufacturers will not be allowed to possess, sell, or offer for use single service Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam articles or polystyrene loose fill packaging. New York City is now the largest city in the country to ban EPS foam.
The decision came after the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) investigated the ability of foam to be recycled and determined that it could not be properly disposed. The DSNY consulted with corporations, such as the Dart Container Corporation, non-profits, vendors, and other stakeholders.
In addition to phasing out single-use Styrofoam products, NYC’s Department of Education will be utilizing foam trays with compostable plates in schools as of May 1st.
In 2013 alone, during Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweeps, volunteers picked up a total of 28,618 foam plastic items, which could be further broken down into fast food containers, cups, pieces, etc. This ban will not only help the waterways of NYC, but it will also protect areas downstream of New York from getting polluted with excess Styrofoam.