Washington Bans More Take-Out Containers

Restaurants in Washington state won’t be able to use those foam clamshell containers anymore.  Coffee cups, plates, trays, and other food and drink carriers made from the same material — known as expanded polystyrene — will also be outlawed. The new law was approved by the legislature in 2021 and takes effect June 1st.  It also bans single-use foam coolers as well.

The problem is that it’s really expensive to recycle expanded polystyrene.  The state Department of Ecology says most residential recycling programs don’t accept the foam, and when it ends up in recycling facilities, it can blow around and contaminate other materials.  At the Northwest Food Show put on by the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, Veronica Carter caught up with Ben Bennett, with Bargreen Ellingson, which is a restaurant and equipment supply company in Portland.  You can hear that here:

Ben Bennett with Bargreen Ellingson. Photo by Veronica Carter
Photo by Veronica Carter.  Pastries from LBA
Photo by Veronica Carter.  Croissants from LBA

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