Success: Styrofoam Containers Banned


Target: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Goal: Applaud citywide ban on plastic foam containers

New York City—one of the great food meccas of the world—is also one of the greatest users and polluters of plastic foam containers, which do not effectively biodegrade and cannot be recycled. A previous petition on ForceChange called for a ban on polystyrene foam containers in New York City, and thankfully, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to pass a ban on the use of plastic foam containers.

Styrofoam containers are still used in restaurants around the world because they are inexpensive and easy to produce, but there is no known method to recycle them and reusable alternatives have been available for some time. Alternative materials are either recyclable or decomposable and are likely to become cheaper and easier to produce with an increased demand and pose much less threat to our environment.

The ban will go into effect on July 1, 2015 and will apply to school cafeterias, street carts and restaurants citywide. Packing peanuts used in shipping will also be banned under the new ordinance. Some small restaurants and organizations that have little enough revenue and are capable of proving that investing in more sustainable containers would cause the individual nonprofit or business a significant hardship will be exempt from the ban.

The city has been working to recycle plastic foam for the past year, but those efforts have been fruitless, leading the mayor’s office to make an official move away from such dangerously unsustainable materials. According to de Blasio, the ban will help keep some 30,000 tons of garbage from the landfills, waterways and streets of the city.

Applaud New York City’s ban on polystyrene foam containers and support sustainable alternatives across the country by signing this petition.


Dear Mayor de Blasio,

New York City never sleeps, but it also never stops eating and plastic foam containers follow the city’s ever-moving diners from restaurant to work, and then to the streets, waterways and landfills. Thanks to your administration’s recent ban on polystyrene foam containers, biodegradable and recyclable alternatives may give New York City a chance to stop the growing garbage problem from threatening the environment any more than it already has.

There still is no known way to recycle plastic foam and it is not an efficiently biodegradable substance. The more demand there is for sustainable food containers, the more prevalent and cost-effective they will become. There is no longer a need for cheap, dangerous materials and New York City is helping lead the way to a renewable future.

I support and applaud New York City’s ban on polystyrene foam containers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Dan Century via Flickr

Original petition: Ban Styrofoam in New York City

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  1. Michael Guest says:

    That’s good start. But all styrofoam containers should be banned in all states, to protect the environment.

  2. Catherine Alquier says:

    I agree completely with Michael : “That’s good start. But all styrofoam containers should be banned in all states, to protect the environment.”

  3. That is excellent news and many thanks for your time and in listening to people’s concerns etc!!very kind regards and very warm compliments to you Sir!!

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