New York’s ban on foam food containers, packaging peanuts goes into effect January 1


Single-use containers and polystyrene foam packaging, commonly known as polystyrene, will be banned in New York City from January 1.

Lawmakers banned foam as part of the state budget in 2020.

The new rule means that no restaurant or store covered by the ban will be able to use foam food containers. Foam packaging peanuts will be banned for manufacturers and retailers.

The ban also applies to caterers, food carts, food trucks, retail food stores, delicatessens, grocery stores, cafeterias, cafes, hospitals, adult care facilities, nursing homes, schools, colleges. and more, according to the State Department of Environmental Conservation. . All details are available online.

The ban is intended to help reduce waste.

Foam packaging and containers are the main sources of waste, according to the DEC. They break down easily, do not biodegrade quickly and can stay in the environment for a long time.

Containers prohibited under the new law include bowls, cartons, shell-style hinged containers, cups, lids, plates, platters and any other product intended to temporarily store or transport food or drink. prepared.

There are some exceptions. Stores can still use foam packaging for raw meat, pork, seafood, poultry, or fish. And the ban does not apply to rigid polystyrene resin containers.

Covered food service providers can also use foam containers for prepackaged foods that have been filled or sealed before a customer receives them.

Nonprofit organizations and government agencies that provide food to people in need can be exempted from the requirements of the law. This includes community meal programs, pantries and places of worship, according to the DEC.

Businesses that would normally be covered by the law can also apply for a waiver if they have annual gross income of less than $ 500,000 per location, have no more than 10 locations in New York City, and are not franchises.

You can find information on how to request waivers on the state DEC website.

A mixture of alternative materials replaces the foam. Many companies are turning to some type of paper or fiber-based material.

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