Starting tomorrow July 1, New York City will enact a ban on all Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) single use styrofoam products, including packing peanuts.

The Department of Sanitation has ruled that EPS is non-recyclable, and there is no market for the refuse. EPS does not fit into the already existing glass, metal, and plastic recycling programs. It is a large portion of landfill trash as well.

The Local Law 142 will give business a six month grace period, until January 1st, 2016, to completely rid their commercial activites of EPS. Educational programs will be conducted in several languages in all five boroughs to warn people of the new ban. 

Companies and small business with less than $500,000 yearly revenue have the option to use a hardship waiver from the Department of Small Business Services, which will allow said businesses to use EPS only if they can prove other alternatives create a severe financial hardship.

The Department of Education, in accordance with the ban, will also introduce compostable trays, cups, and eating utensils for school lunches starting Fall 2015.

Cover image: Wikimedia Commons