What You Need To Know About New York’s Foam Ban | State News

Getting take out food will look different in the New Year.

Effective January 1, the distribution and sale of polystyrene foam products will be banned in New York State. This means you won’t be able to purchase disposable Styrofoam plates and cups for an event, and the classic clamshell container often used for take-out will be gone.

The ban also prohibits the manufacture and sale of packaging peanuts, the bulk packaging made of the same material.

There are exceptions. Containers used for raw meat and sealed items prior to delivery to restaurants will be permitted.

The law does not apply to cities of one million or more that already have a ban in place, and that includes New York City.

Tina Stevens, waste diversion and education coordinator for Monroe County, said that except for the clean polystyrene used for packaging, the county’s curbside recycling department never accepted the foam. of polystyrene.

“We never accepted trays, cups, plates and all that sort of thing. That’s the purpose of this ban, ”Stevens said.

Stevens said moving away from styrofoam is a huge buying decision for large organizations like schools and hospitals.

“They have to move away from styrofoam and into something reusable,” Stevens said. “I’m old enough to remember when schools had dishwashers. So if they decide to go back down that road, it’s a huge capital investment. It is also an investment in labor.

She praised grocery chains Wegmans, Aldi and Tops who have already made the switch before the deadline.

“The egg cartons were a huge thing. And now they’re back to cardboard, which is totally and completely recyclable curbside, ”Stevens said.

She said the changes are unlikely to hurt large organizations, but some small nonprofits may struggle and may need to invest in alternatives.

“You can’t even buy it in New York after January, so they’ll catch up somehow,” she said.

Stevens added that the ban would likely affect restaurants, especially those that have part of his business to take out.

Food service providers who meet specific criteria may apply for a 12-month renewable financial hardship waiver.

Violators will be fined $ 250 for the first offense and will be fined double for each additional offense.

Via AP StoryShare

Lee J. Murillo