Ban on foam food containers in New York City takes effect

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City's ban on single-use foam products took effect on New Year's Day.

Restaurants, stores and manufacturers are no longer allowed to use the foam products to package food or fill packaging.

The city will not start fining vendors until July 1. Until then, businesses who still use the plastic foam packaging will receive warnings.

The city has been trying to ban plastic foam containers since 2013. As a promise to take care of the planet, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the new measure.

In 2018, a judge dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the ban.

Judge Margaret Chan denied an appeal by a restaurant lobbying group and manufacturers. They argued it was feasible to recycle the containers.

City officials say the 60 million pounds of foam thrown away each year clog up landfills and pose other environmental problems.

"There is a huge amount of foam that we don't need to use, that not only will end up in landfills polluting our environment, but often gets washed into our waterways," Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said.

Dozens of communities around the country have enacted some form of plastic foam ban in recent years.

NOTE: An earlier version of this article referred to Styrofoam. The products in question are made from expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), a different material manufactured by different companies.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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