Pennsylvania bill to ban polystyrene foam food containers

July 31, 2018

 On July 17, 2018, a bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to prohibit food establishments statewide from using foam food containers.


HB 2560 declares that polystyrene foam, in most cases, is not cost-effective to store or ship because the material requires a large amount of storage space.


“Polystyrene food service container” is defined as:

  • A single-use polystyrene foam container such as a cup, bowl, plate and clamshell-style container as well as a foam cooler not encased in another material.

  • A single-use polystyrene solid plastic container such as a cup, bowl, plate, clamshell-style container, cutlery, straw and cup lid.


However, meat trays, egg cartons and packing material do not fall under the bill’s definition.


The bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to establish a procedure for filing complaints against offenders and to adopt rules necessary for implementing the new law.


Violations range from $500 for a first offense, to $2,000 for third and subsequent offenses.


The bill has been referred to the Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy, and if passed, will take effect on January 1, 2019.


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