Virginia state assembly votes to ban single-use plastic foam

Media Contacts
Alex Truelove


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 General 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, partner organization 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, Alex Truelove, U.S. PIRG Zero Waste Program director, and Elly Boehmer, director of Environment Virginia, issued the following statements:

“Polystyrene foam containers are among the most common, harmful and non-recyclable plastic products on the market,” said Truelove. “Getting rid of foam encourages better alternatives, particularly reusable containers, in addition to recyclable and compostable ones.”

Boehmer added, “Virginia’s waterways and wildlife are among the Commonwealth’s most important treasures. 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.”