NYC Styrofoam Ban Takes Effect
Stores and manufacturers in New York City cannot serve food in styrofoam cups, plates and trays, but have a grace period.
By COLlive staff
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Mark Chambers announced that the City’s styrofoam ban is in effect on Tuesday.
Local food service establishments, stores, and manufacturers may not possess, sell, or offer for use single service Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam food service articles or loose fill packaging, such as “packing peanuts.”
“The 60 million pounds of styrofoam New Yorkers throw away each year clog our landfills and fuel the petroleum economy destroying our planet,” live,” de Blasio said about styrofoam which is considered a major source of petroleum-based waste.
“Foam products cannot be recycled, plain and simple, and they have no place in our daily lives,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “Foam is a source of litter in our neighborhoods, and it clogs our storm drains and pollutes our beaches.”
As a result of the ban, manufacturers and stores may not sell or offer single-use foam items such as cups, plates, trays, or clamshell containers. There is a six month grace period from when the ban goes into effect on January 1, 2019 before fines can be imposed.
During the six-month warning period, businesses that still use foam products may receive a “warning card” reminding them of the ban and directing them to New York City Sanitation Department’s outreach resources.
VIDEO: How Will 2019’s Styrofoam Ban Affect You?
The Department of Sanitation has already contacted over 129,000 retailers and food service establishments and provides free in-person training and online webinars to businesses and will be conducting site visits around the city during the six-month warning period.
Non-profits and small businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue per year may apply for hardship exemptions from the Department of Small Business Services if they can prove that the purchase of alternative products not composed of EPS would create undue financial hardship. Waivers granted will be valid for a one-year period beginning July 1, 2019 and on a rolling basis.
Who is Covered:
For-profit or not-for-profit: food service establishments, mobile food commissaries, and stores that sell or use foam items; and Manufacturers and distributors of polystyrene foam packaging that are located or operate within any of the five boroughs of New York City.
What is Covered:
Single-service foam items including cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers and trays.
Foam loose fill packaging, commonly known as “packing peanuts.”
What is Not Covered:
Foam containers used for prepackaged food that have been filled and sealed prior to receipt by the food service establishment, mobile food commissary, or store.
Foam containers used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar appliance.
Foam blocks used as protective packaging in shipping.
For more information, visit nyc.gov/foamban