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Can You Recycle Styrofoam in NYC? Impact of the Styrofoam Ban

Great news New Yorkers, our city is finally joining a growing list of municipalities across the country to ban styrofoam, a.k.a. polystyrene.

As of January 1st 2019, the squeaky material is officially not permitted for use in New York City. Banned products include single-use items, such as:

  • • Cups
  • • Bowls
  • • Plates
  • • Takeout food containers
  • • Trays
  • • Packing peanuts (foam loose fill packaging)

This incredibly complex product is nearly impossible to recycle.  It virtually never breaks down, and ends up in landfills, as litter on our streets, oceans and waterways, and is harmful to wildlife and public health. New York City’s Styrofoam ban reinforces their commitment to reducing waste and to our environment!



An estimated 25 billion styrofoam cups are used and disposed of by Americans each year.* Now, with the help of this foam ban in New York city, that number will drop drastically in the next few years. Let’s use this new opportunity to educate our peers about the importance of continuing to develop new legislation in favor of our environment.

Polystyrene easily breaks down into tiny particles, but the indestructible foam remains in the environment for into the hundreds of years, and eventually making its way into waterways used by humans and wildlife tainting our drinking water.

According to research published by Public Radio International, a nationwide study found that 83 percent of drinking water samples, including tap water from the US Capitol complex, Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, DC, and the Trump Grill in New York, contained remnants of microscopic plastic and polystyrene fibers. With this much synthetic residue showing up in water from the faucets throughout the nation, researchers predict that it is more than likely these same particles are finding their way into the meals Americans prepare in their kitchens.**

New York City’s new ban on styrofoam is a win for the city and planet. With so many new environmentally friendly and plant-based alternatives available, the senseless use of toxic and everlasting polystyrene will come to an end.


Take the opportunity to recognize our excessive use of unnecessary styrofoam and plastic consumption. It’s ubiquitous and we are so used to it’s abundance, but we must change our ways and do what we can to cut waste.

Attractive reusable water bottles and food containers are more durable, temperature accurate and attractive to use. Why not start your new year off with a renewed promise to be a more environmentally-conscious New Yorker.

Let Royal Waste help you, your tenants and your employees learn best practices when it comes to reducing single-use items and New York recycling.  Let’s keep our city clean, and improve our overall environmental footprint.





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