Petition to Ban Polystyrene in Troy

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Troy Zero Waste is working to get a bill introduced in the Troy City Council to ban polystyrene foam (sometimes incorrectly called Styrofoam) in order to:

  • reduce litter
  • save valuable landfill space
  • safeguard our health
  • reduce the toxins in our waterways and food
  • reduce our use of fossil fuels.

Polystyrene foam is incredibly wasteful. It is made from petroleum and the carcinogen styrene, breaks into tiny pieces that are very hard to clean up, and never biodegrades. It litters our streets, parks and river, and is detrimental to aquatic life and land animals that mistake the pieces as food. Polystyrene foam is one of our country’s most ubiquitous examples of unnecessary throw-away packaging. When heated, it releases carcinogens into the food it contains.

This ban will apply to all disposable food service containers and packaging used to serve or transport food. This will include plates, cups, bowls, trays, and hinged or lidded containers. The ban would cover all establishments that sell take-out food and drinks, provide containers for leftovers, or sell new polystyrene food service supplies retail or wholesale.

This bill requires that all disposable food service containers be made of compostable material that will break down into usable compost in a safe and timely manner without leaving any toxic residue, or be made of fully recyclable material which can be commonly recycled in Troy’s recycling program.

The cost difference is just pennies per container.

Local and state governments across the nation are prohibiting the use of polystyrene in food packaging. Many restaurants have already taken the initiative to use alternatives such as durable food ware, paper, cardboard and certified biodegradable plastics instead of polystyrene foam.



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