Expanded Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Ban - Foam Free in the Boat


Spurring Change Together! 


In 2021, the State of Colorado enacted a ban on expanded polystyrene (commonly referred to as StyrofoamTM) to-go food containers from retail food establishments. This ban is part of House Bill 21-1162, concerning the management of plastic products, called the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. 

This also included the statewide fee on single-use plastic carryout bags. By limiting single-use plastic carryout bags and expanded polystyrene (EPS) products, this legislation hopes to mitigate the harmful effects on our state's environment and natural resources that result from disposing these products in landfills. 

Once the ban takes effect, all Colorado retail food establishments will no longer be able to distribute EPS (StyrofoamTM) products for use as container for ready-to-eat food. If a retail establishment purchased StyrofoamTM products before January 1, they may continue to distribute any remaining inventory. 

When Does The Ban Go Into Effect?

The ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) products (StyrofoamTM) will go into effect on January 1, 2024

Who Does The Ban Apply To?

The ban applied to retail food establishments that prepare or package food for human consumption, either directly, or through a delivery service. This includes convenience stores, grocery stores, fast food establishments, full and limited-service restaurants, and mobile food units.  

Who Is Exempt From This Legislation? 

The primary exemptions include establishments that only offer prepackaged foods that are not time/temperature controlled for safety, and markets or roadside markets that offer only uncut fresh fruits and vegetables for sale. 

Additional Resources


Contact Alicia Archibald, Community Recycling Coordinator, by email