BANNED: Polystyrene Food Packaging
Expanded Polystyrene Foam Food Service Packaging Ban
What types of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam for Food Packaging is Banned?
- Takeout containers, clamshells and trays
Exceptions: the ban does not include packaging for unprepared foods or foods that were packaged outside of the City.
What are Sustainable Alternatives to EPS Foam for Food Packaging?
Businesses may use containers composed of compostable materials, paper, plant material (sugarcane, rice, bamboo), aluminum, recyclable plastics (1 through 5), and glass.
A list of wholesale companies that sell alternatives to EPS can be found by scrolling down.
What Are the Next Steps for Businesses?
Check your stock. Does your business currently have an inventory of Expanded Polystyrene Foam food packaging products? If so, you’ll need to make some changes.
If your packaging is EPS, contact your sales representative or wholesaler to ensure that you transition to non-polystyrene food packaging by September 1, 2019.
Who Must Comply with the Ban?
All food service providers and retailers will be required to stop using or selling expanded polystyrene food packaging by September 1, 2019. You are being provided this notice now so that you may complete the use of products in inventory.
- Businesses impacted include:
- Full-service restaurants
- Limited-service restaurants
- Fast food restaurants
- Coffee shops
- Grocery stores
- Commercial retailer with grocery departments or food service
- Vending trucks or carts and food trucks
- Food trucks
- Businesses or institutional cafeterias, including those operated by the City or County or their agencies
- Other businesses selling or providing food with the City for consumption on or off premise
How Can I Know Which Packages are EPS?
Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) food containers are labeled with a PS or #6 recycling symbol. Local recycling centers do not accept EPS foam.
What is Expanded Polystyrene Foam and Why did the City Ban this Material?
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam is a petroleum-based plastic material that does not biodegrade or break apart. This material is often found in waterways and passed on to humans who consume fish.
The City of Annapolis is committed to reducing our environmental impact and becoming more sustainable. Your efforts to reduce the use of EPS will help us to clean our lands and waterways and protect our wildlife.
Violation of any provision of the expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam ban is a municipal infraction punishable by a fine of $100 for any single, initial violation, and an additional fine of $200 for each repeat or continuing violation. Each day a violation exists is a separate offense.
Have Other Jurisdictions Banned this Material?
Yes. The City of Annapolis banned it effective September 1, 2019. Anne Arundel County banned it effective February 28, 2020. The State of Maryland banned it effective July 1, 2020.
List of Alternative Food Packaging Vendors:
The City of Annapolis does not specifically endorse any of the listed distributors.
Please note: listed vendors may sell expanded polystyrene and non-polystyrene products. Please ensure compliance with the City’s polystyrene food packaging ban prior to purchasing from distributors.