Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro signed a resolution into law prohibiting a popular food container in Dutchess County. 

County Executive Molinaro signed a resolution into law which prohibits the use of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) food containers in the county by chain food service establishments.

This past June, third grade students from West Road Intermediate School in Pleasant Valley, invited Molinaro to their school. The third graders read letters to Molinaro voicing their displeasure about foam cups and the impact on the ecosystem.

County Executive Molinaro said:

To see the students’ passion for their environment and their willingness to speak up about an issue that concerned them was refreshing and inspiring. I told the class I was proud they had done their research, and I would share the information they gathered with the members of the Dutchess County Legislature. Just a few months later, legislators have passed a resolution that will greatly impact these students, their families and their community

At its October 10 meeting, the Dutchess County Legislature approved the resolution by a 23-1 vote.

Dutchess County
Dutchess County

The law will take effect immediately and will be enforced starting January 1, 2019.

The law prohibits food chains which have 15 or more locations nationally, operate in Dutchess County, and provide prepared foods for public consumption from selling, packaging or distributing food in polystyrene foam containers – bowls, plates, cups and the like.

The law does offer exemptions, including an exemption for establishments that demonstrate a gross income of under $500,000 and are unable to find a cost-neutral alternative to polystyrene foam food containers.

Under the law, the Commissioner of the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) has the authority to administer and enforce the ban. DBCH is responsible for issuing written warnings, levying fines on violators, and granting/denying exemption applications.