The three NY Chapters helped to ban expanded polystyrene (EPS) food containers and packing peanuts, commonly known as styrofoam, statewide in New York. Governor Cuomo signed bills S7508 and A9508 as part of the 2021 state budget process on April 3, 2020. The ban will take effect on January 1st, 2022.
EPS food and beverage containers are frequently littered or blown out of garbage cans and into our rivers, parks, and beaches. The material then breaks up into tiny pieces, increasing toxin exposure to marine life and littering our beautiful state.
EPS is incredibly difficult and inefficient to recycle and does not biodegrade. Styrene, a known carcinogen within EPS, may leach into hot liquids and food, which we then consume. There are plenty of safe and more sustainable alternatives to EPS already in use by businesses and many other states across the country are also looking to ban EPS foam. As we work to ensure our communities are healthy and clean, eliminating EPS will reduce litter and make our waterways and beaches more fishable, swimmable, and enjoyable.
The New York Chapters shared an action alert over email and social media, and SF staff Matt Gove led a group of citizens in Albany to talk about the bill with staff of elected officials. Surfrider worked with a coalition of other groups including: Oceana, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and others.