A ban on styrofoam packaging is set to go into effect soon in the Hudson Valley. Are you ready?

Last year New York State passed one of the nation's most strict laws banning the use of styrofoam containers. That law will go into effect on January 1, essentially making many of the food containers and packing materials we use every day illegal.

The law prohibits any person or business from "selling, offering for sale, or distributing disposable food service containers that contain expanded polystyrene foam in New York."  In addition, it will also be against the law to "sell, offer for sale, or distribute polystyrene loose fill packaging in the state."

This means that everything from those styrofoam clamshell food containersto packing peanuts will disappear from the state. While the current plastic bag law has certain loopholes that allow smaller businesses to still use them, the styrofoam ban isn't as forgiving. The following business will all have to discontinue use of the soon-to-be banned items.

    • Food service establishments, caterers, temporary food service establishments, mobile food service establishments, and pushcarts
    • Retail food stores, including any establishment where food and food products are offered to the consumer and intended for off-premises consumption
    • Delis, grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and coffee shops
    • Hospitals, adult care facilities, and nursing homes
    • Elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities

The New York State DEC has officially released the specific regulations of the law and is now asking the public to comment on a proposed change that will allow businesses to submit a waiver application that would allow them to claim "undue financial hardship" from the new law.

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