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Packaging News: NYC Has Banned the Use of EPS Products

January 13, 2015
polystyrene-packaging-peanuts

With green packaging trends on the rise due to more advanced environmentally friendly packaging, NYC decided to make a change for the better throughout all 5 boroughs. This new law bans EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam products including polystyrene packaging peanuts.This law applies to all food service establishments, stores, and manufacturers in the city. EPS packaging products will not be allowed to be sold or used once the new law takes effect on July 1, 2015.

In addition to the ban of EPS packaging products, there will also be a ban on the sale and use of single use foam cups, plates, and containers within the city. The Department of Sanitation in NYC determined that all of these EPS products are not recyclable as of the same date of July 1, 2015.

The Big Apple is not the first city to ban expanded polystyrene products, but they are the largest city to implement the ban. Over 70 other cities have already decided to ban the usage of EPS including Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, and many California cities. Some of these cities banned the use of EPS many years ago, including Berkeley in 1987.

You can see all of the Cities that have banned EPS products right here - MAP: Which Cities Have Banned Plastic Foam?

Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City, was quoted as saying "These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City. We have better options, better alternatives, and if more cities across the country follow our lead and institute similar bans, those alternatives will soon become more plentiful and will cost less.

The environmental health concerns from EPS products have been a concern for many years now, and they are all well documented. One of the biggest concerns is with the styrene that these products are manufactured from. A report released by the EPA all the way back in 1986, stated that the manufacturing process for polystyrene products is the 5th largest contributor to hazardous waste materials in the United States.

Chronic exposure to styrene has been shown to cause problems with the central nervous system and can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, and can affect the kidneys and blood. Due to many of these health concerns, styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA

What do you think of the ban on EPS products in NYC? We would love to hear your thoughts!

2 Comments
Sally Brown on Jan 13, 2015 in 01:36pm
I'm glad to have found this article because this has been an environmental hazard for decades. I wish it would be banned all over. I like the links to references you use as well. Thanks for sharing! Sally
Reply
Shawn on Jan 13, 2015 in 01:43pm
Thank you for the comment Sally! It has been a hazard for too long as you mentioned, and the fact that it has not been banned nationwide is scary considering that parts of California banned it almost 30 years ago now.
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