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July 1st Ban on Single Use Products and Organic Waste

July 1st - Universal Recycling, Ban of Organic Waste, and Ban of Expanded Polystyrene

The use of expanded polystyrene for shipping products within the state will no longer be allowed come July 1, 2020. Act 69 states that a store or food establishment shall not sell or provide food or beverages in expanded polystyrene except if the product is coming from out of state. Food producers can continue to use expanded polystyrene if the shipment is out of state. However, the Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed that providing in-State food or beverage in expanded polystyrene packaging is not allowed.

The definitions section of Act 69 provides and exemption for expanded polystyrene products used to package raw meat, fish, or poultry, whether distributed in-State or out-of-State, but does not provide an exemption for in-state food manufacturers.

A summary of the Act can be found below. For any questions, please reach out to

Beginning July 1, 2020 stores and food establishments can no longer provide single-use carry out plastic bags or expanded polystyrene (think Styrofoam carry-out containers, cups, packing peanuts, styrofoam packaging, etc.) (see exemptions below)

  • Stores and food establishments will be required to charge not less than 10 cents for a paper bag with a basis weight of more than 30 pounds or less and, generally, paper bags shorter than 10 inches.
  • Food establishments cannot provide plastic stirrers
  • Food establishments will be banned from providing a plastic straw unless a customer requests one.


  • Certain plastic and/or paper bags from being banned or charged for, including bags:
    • Provided by a pharmacy, drycleaner, or flower shop to cover flowers
    • Used to package loose items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, coffee, grains, bakery items, candy, cards, small hardware items, or to wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish.
  • Certain expanded polystyrene food service products, including:
    • Food or beverage that have been packaged outside the state (food being shipped from out-of-state manufacturers that use expanded polystyrene)
    • Products used to package raw, uncooked, or butchered meat, fish, poultry, or seafood.

For Additional Information visits the dedicated page on the VRGA Website Here