Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is used to make a variety of single-service foam items covered by the City’s foam ban.
Banned foam products include, but are not limited, to:
- Takeout containers
EPS can be made into a wide variety of solid plastics or foam.
Styrofoam is made of Extruded polystyrene foam (XPS), and is just one type of polystyrene foam. Styrofoam has been incorrectly used as a generic term to refer to all foam products.
Recycle Logo on Foam Products
Recycling numbers or chasing arrows symbol located on some foam products does not determine whether an item is banned.
If the product is made from expanded polystyrene foam as defined in the law and it looks and feels like polystyrene foam, it is prohibited.
Alternatives to Foam Products
Alternative packaging options include:
- Compostable products
- Reusable/returnable/refillable containers
For alternatives to foam products, you can contact your packaging distributor or supplier.
You can also view the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board’s (MSWAB) list of Foam Alternative Product Suggestions.
Exceptions to Foam Ban
The following items are not banned from sale or use:
- Containers used for prepackaged food that have been filled and sealed before they are received by the food service establishment, mobile cart (food cart), or store
- Containers used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood, or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail appliance
- Foam blocks used as protective packaging in shipping and receiving