New York’s Going Foam Free in 2022

Effective foam ban date: January 1, 2022

In 2020, New York State passed the country’s strongest nationwide ban on expanded polystyrene, disposable foam food and beverage containers, and polystyrene loose packaging materials, commonly known as peanut packaging.

Polystyrene foam is a concern for people and the environment. Foam packaging is one of the largest contributors to environmental waste, causing negative impacts on wildlife, waterways and other natural resources, as well as waste from our communities and natural areas. It is light, breaks easily and does not degrade easily biologically. When polystyrene foam ends up as waste in the environment, it can persist for a long time and can also turn into microplastic contamination. In addition, foam containers and loose packaging, such as peanut packing, are not accepted in most New York State recycling programs because the foam is difficult to recycle and has a low value. For these reasons, certain expanded polystyrene foam products will be banned in New York to protect the environment, our society, and to support sustainable material handling.

For more information on the ban on polystyrene foam, including exceptions to the new law, visit the DEC website.

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