City of New York Makes Historic Conservation Decisision

City Council Votes to Make New York City Largest to Ban Foam Foodware

NEW YORK, New York – 19 December 2013 -- The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), applauds the New York City Council for its decision today to ban food service expanded polystyrene (EPS) within city limits. EPS is commonly referred to as "styrofoam"™.

Since its inception, COARE has been actively addressing plastic pollution and attempting to reduce single-use plastic consumption in the U.S. and worldwide.

With an overwhelming 51-0 unanimous vote, the City Council of New York made a clear statement making the City is the largest in the world to ban foam foodware. Comprising more than 8.3 million people, New York is the most populous city in the United States, and an estimated 23,000 tons of foam are thrown away in New York City each year.

"With this bill we can move into the future," said Councilmember Lewis Fidler, primary sponsor of the bill. "The technologies and the materials of the past will not hold us back from doing so."

"This is a tremendous decision, and grand victory for us all. Future generations will see this as the obvious choice, but this vote today makes a strong stand and proves that New York is truly ready to make a difference," said Christopher Chin, COARE's Executive Director. "Today's decision sets a firm example for similar efforts across the nation and around the world. The message is loud and clear. We're telling the world that we've had enough single-use foam."

Through its "Enough with the plastic already!" campaign, COARE seeks to reduce the amount of oceanbound waste by helping people become more aware of how their habits affect the world around them. COARE raises public awareness of some very commonly overlooked sources of trash, and encourages people everywhere to examine their choices.

The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, Inc. (COARE) is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its purpose is to study our oceans and increase public awareness of the earth's marine environment through educational programs and outreach. COARE seeks to enlighten people, young and old, to the plight of the oceans, to change the way they think and act, and to encourage them to create positive and lasting change. For more information about COARE, visit


What you can do to help

  • Support "bag-ban", and straw-reduction bills in your state or city;
  • When you order a drink in a restaurant or bar, or you order take-out, tell them you don't want a straw;
  • If you need a straw or like to use a straw, bring your own, and reuse it!