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Washington to ban polystyrene foam takeaway containers

21 Apr 2021 (Last Updated May 4th, 2021 15:06)

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill to ban polystyrene foam takeaway containers.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill to ban polystyrene foam takeaway containers.

The bill aims to ban various types of polystyrene used in food containers and increase the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in packaging.

The ban will cover peanuts, coolers and foodware. In addition, businesses will only be allowed to provide single-use utensils, cups, lids and condiments if they are requested by customers.

Plastic beverage bottles, household cleaning and personal care bottles, as well as rubbish bags, will also be required to contain minimum levels of PCR content.

With this bill, Washington will become the seventh US state to ban polystyrene foam takeaway containers. In the past 13 months, New York, New Jersey and Virginia have each passed bans on polystyrene.

Environment Washington campaign associate Mandy Apa said: “Washington’s ocean habitats, waterways and wildlife are among the state’s most important treasures.

“By taking action to stop this dangerous single-use product, our leaders have chosen to put the planet over plastic. Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute our planet for generations to come.”

US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Zero Waste Programme director Alex Truelove said: “Polystyrene foam containers are among the most common, harmful and non-recyclable plastic products on the market.

“Getting rid of foam, and requiring other polluting products upon request, will encourage less waste and more reuse.”

Last month, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Representative of California Alan Lowenthal reintroduced the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, which aims to address plastic pollution.