RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Senate passed today a statewide ban on plastic foam cups and take-out containers. Polystyrene foam (also commonly referred to as Styrofoam) is one of the most common forms of plastic ocean litter. The bipartisan bill has now passed in both houses of the Virginia assembly.
If the bill is signed into law, Virginia would become the sixth state in the country to ban polystyrene foam takeout containers; it would become the third state, following New York and New Jersey, to pass a polystyrene ban in the last 12 months.
Prior to the vote, state affiliate Environment Virginia talked to tens of thousands of Virginians about plastic pollution and polystyrene, collecting more than 50,000 petitions calling on our leaders to take action on this crucial issue.
In response, Elly Boehmer, director of Environment Virginia, and Alex Truelove, U.S. PIRG Zero Waste Program director, issued the following statements:
"Virginia’s waterways and wildlife are among the Commonwealth’s most important treasures,” said Boehmer. “By taking action to stop this dangerous single use product, our leaders have chosen to put the planet over plastic. Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute our planet for generations to come."
Truelove added, "Polystyrene foam containers are among the most common, harmful and non-recyclable plastic products on the market. Getting rid of foam guarantees better alternatives, particularly reusable containers, in addition to recyclable and compostable ones."