Styrofoam food containers banned in Washington DC

August 4, 2014 | Environment
Styrofoam container: banned from Washington DC

The citizens of Washington, D.C. will no longer see styrofoam containers in their daily lives. The City Council passed the "Sustainable D.C. Omnibus Act of 2014."

As of January 1, 2016, D.C. restaurants, supermarkets and food trucks will no longer be allowed to give customers single-use serving containers made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. Meat trays in grocery stores will be exempt.

Because EPS is more than 95 percent air, these products break apart easily, never biodegrade and litter parks, streets, river, lakes and oceans.

In 2018, restaurants may only use containers that are made from compostable or recyclable materials. This is also a victory for the Surfrider Foundation D.C. Chapter.

"We do know that compostable materials or recyclable materials are a bit more expensive. However, we are working with carryouts and certain stores with bulk purchasing agreements to drive down the costs," explains Keith Anderson, director of the District Department of the Environment.

Styrofoam is a trademarked brand owned and manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company.

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