Ban on polystyrene foam containers takes effect in Dutchess


PLEASANT VALLEY – Dutchess County’s new law banning the use
of polystyrene foam food containers by chain food service establishments
was signed into law on Friday by County Executive Marcus Molinaro.

He signed the measure before fourth grade students at Joseph D’Aquanni
West Road Intermediate School in Pleasant Valley.

The foam product has been identified as a potential human carcinogen by
the US Department of Health and Human Services. Polystyrene, also known
as Styrofoam, is poorly biodegradable, difficult to recycle and can be
toxic when burned.

Molinaro said the new law “is a positive step toward safeguarding
our residents and planet.”

The law will take effect immediately and be enforced starting January
1, 2019. It prohibits food chains with 15 or more locations nationwide
and operating in Dutchess County to provide prepared foods for public
consumption from selling, packaging or distributing food in Styrofoam
containers – bowls, plates, cups and other containers that hold

County government departments and facilities will also be prohibited from
using disposable food service containers with Styrofoam at any county
facility or event.

The law contains exemptions including one for establishments that demonstrate
a gross income below $500,000 and are unable to find a cost-neutral alternative
to those foam food containers.

The first violation of the law will result in a written warning notice
that specifies the penalties in the event of future violations. The county
Department of Behavioral and Community Health with police the use. Fines
of up to $250 may be levied for the first offense, $500 for the second
offense and $1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.