Dear RCC Supporter:

Good news! Legislators are taking your concerns about Big Plastic’s continued disregard for environmental and public health seriously. Introduced in December by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), the Farewell to Foam Act would ban all single-use expanded polystyrene (EPS) products, including foodware, by January 2026! Passage would mark a major reduction in plastic pollution and a victory for environmental protection.

What is EPS That Will Be Banned?

EPS is a foam material derived from polymerized, fossil fuel-derived plastic. Made up of 98% air and 2% plastic beads, it makes for convenient packaging and insulating material. It is often developed into “packing peanuts” and other packaging materials as well as restaurant take-out boxes. You may know EPS as “Styrofoam” – a popular construction material brand whose products are derived from EPS.

Why Should We Ban EPS?

While EPS offers convenient and inexpensive packaging, the environmental and health consequences of producing this material far outweigh the benefits.

Although EPS takes hundreds of years to degrade – it quickly breaks down into smaller pieces, like nano- and microplastics, that pollute our bodies through the food it makes contact with in containers. Microplastics also pollute aquatic environments when they pass through filtration systems and end up in the ocean. Less than 10% of the 10 million tons of plastic foam produced globally every year is recycled. In other words, the more EPS we produce, the more of it ends up as litter, in landfills, and in our water.

What is the Current Status of the Farewell to Foam Act?

The Farewell to Foam Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House’s Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce. It has 86 co-sponsors between the Senate and the House. The bill is popular, but this Congress has proven slow to pass cutting-edge environmental legislation. We need you to let your Representative and Senators know you support a ban on single-use plastics, especially EPS. Tell them to support the Farewell to Foam Act of 2023!

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