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New York Foam Ban Starts Jan. 1st!

The New York State ban on foam products begins January 1st, 2022!

The Central Long Island Chapter, along with the other two NY Surfrider Chapters, helped to ban expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam (commonly known as styrofoam) food containers and packing peanuts statewide in New York. Governor Cuomo incorporated bills S7508 and A9508 as part of the 2021 state budget process in April, 2020.

The bill language bans EPS foodware like cups, bowls, trays, and clamshells, covering pretty much anywhere food is served including: bars, restaurants, delis, bodegas, grocery stores, food trucks, cafes, schools, etc. Plus packing peanuts are also banned. No retail store will be able to sell these items either.

EPS food and beverage containers are frequently littered or blown out of garbage cans and into our rivers, parks, and beaches. The material then breaks up into tiny pieces, increasing toxin exposure to marine life and littering our beautiful state. 

EPS is incredibly difficult and inefficient to recycle and does not biodegrade. Styrene, a known carcinogen within EPS, may leach into hot liquids and food, which we then consume. There are plenty of safe and more sustainable alternatives to EPS already in use by businesses. As we work to ensure our communities are healthy and clean, eliminating EPS will reduce litter and make our waterways and beaches more fishable, swimmable, and enjoyable.

Surfrider worked with a coalition of other groups on this campaign including, Oceana, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and others. For more information on the law, check out the NYDEC website.