By Liam McBain • Published at 1:05 pm on July 1, 2019
What to Know
- The Styrofoam ban took effect on January 1 2019, but the city gave restaurants and businesses six months to transition out of using it.
- Violators will be fined $250 for the first offense, $500 for a second and $1000 for three or more.
- This law bans items like Styrofoam food containers and packing peanuts.
New York City began enforcing its ban on foam Monday after the end of a six-month grace period. That means if your take-out turns up in a foam container, the restaurant is actually breaking the law.
The ban took effect on January 1 2019, but the city gave restaurants and businesses six months to transition out of using it. Now, violators will be fined — $250 for the first offense, $500 for a second and $1000 for three or more.
“The 60 million pounds of Styrofoam New Yorkers throw away each year clog our landfills and fuel the petroleum economy destroying our planet,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement when the ban was announced.
The “Sytrofoam” that the mayor mentioned, however, is not included in the ban. The trademarked product is the brand name of an insulation board manufactured by DuPont, a chemical company.
Items that are banned are foam food containers and packing peanuts. There are a few exceptions, including containers used to store raw meat.
Other cities that have enacted similar bans include San Diego, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
Each pound of foam consumes about of one cubic foot of space. Consider the 60 million tons of annual foam waste in reference to New York’s Empire State building with its volume of 36 million cubic feet.