Polystyrene foam: banned from New York | Photo: Creative Commons

Polystyrene foam has been banned from New York City. The substance will no longer be part of the daily lives of millions of NY citizens from July 1st, 2015.

It's over. New York will be the largest US city to ban plastic foam, in all its forms and shapes. Mayor Bill de Blasio believes the new rule will remove 30,000 tons of foam from waterways, streets and landfills.

"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," underlined de Blasio.

Restaurants, street carts, and city school cafeterias must remove these containers from their daily operations on July 1st. Fines will be charged after the initial six-month grace period.

"While much of the waste we produce can be recycled or reused, polystyrene foam is not one of those materials. Removing polystyrene from our waste stream is not only good for a greener, more sustainable New York, but also for the communities who are home to landfills receiving the City’s trash," added Kathryn Garcia, Sanitation Commissioner.

New York joins a list of 70 US cities that have already banned plastic foam.