Surfrider Foundation's Eastern Long Island Chapter is excited to be working alongside the Southampton Town Green Committee to introduce a ban of polystyrene foam throughout Southampton Town which has over 58,000 residents. Expanded polystyrene foam (aka styrofoam) is a petroleum-based plastic product that breaks into smaller pieces when introduced to the marine environment, which can negatively affect marine life.
Expanded polystyrene comes in many forms including: cups, “clam-shell” take-away containers, packing peanuts, and coolers. Because of its confirmed health impacts, many businesses and communities have moved away from using expanded polystyrene (also known as styrofoam). In 2018, both Patchogue Village and East Hampton Villages passed laws prohibiting markets, grocery stores, or delis from selling or providing polystyrene foam.
Southampton Town voted to prohibit the sale, distribution, or posession of expanded polystyrene foam on February 12th, 2019 and will be effective on May 8th, 2019.
RES-2019-203 §212-3 Restriction on expanded polystyrene.
A. No food service establishment, mobile food commissary, or store shall possess, sell, or offer for use single service articles that consist of expanded polystyrene, including, but not limited to, providing food in single service articles or containers that consist of expanded polystyrene. This subsection shall not apply to:
(i) Expanded polystyrene containers used for prepackaged food that have been filled and sealed prior to receipt by the food service establishment, mobile food commissary, or store; or
(ii) Expanded polystyrene containers used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail appliance.
B. No manufacturer or store shall use or offer for sale polystyrene loose fill packaging or coolers made of expanded polystyrene in the Town.
C. The restrictions set forth in § 212-3 (A) through (B) shall become operative on May 8, 2019, so as to allow retail establishments a period of time within which to dispose of their existing inventory of polystyrene items and convert to alternative packaging materials.
In the same legislation, Southampton Town also voted to restrict the usage of plastic straws and stirrers.
We thank Southampton town for their leadership in reducing single-use plastics from the source!