Press Contact

Melissa Valliant: mvalliant@oceana.org 410.829.0726

Today, New York state lawmakers passed a ban on polystyrene in an effort to curb the endless flow of plastic into our oceans, rivers and lands. Effective January 1, 2022, the ban will prohibit the sale and distribution of disposable food service containers that contain expanded polystyrene foam, as well as polystyrene loose fill packaging material.

“As the fourth most populated state in the country, New York has made a commendable decision to ban polystyrene food service containers and polystyrene packing material, a move that will hopefully inspire other states to follow suit. There’s no reason to rely on polystyrene — which often ends up choking our oceans and polluting our planet — for food packaging that’s tossed after one use, especially when more sustainable alternatives exist,” said Brian Langloss, New York campaign organizer for Oceana.

“With 17.6 billion pounds of plastic entering our oceans every year — the equivalent of a garbage truck’s worth of plastic flooding the ocean every minute — we need single-use plastic regulations like New York’s polystyrene ban now more than ever.”

On top of plastic’s harmful impacts to marine life, plastic has now been found in our water, our food, our soil, our air and our bodies, and scientists are still learning how this may be affecting human health. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increasing amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.oceana.org to learn more.