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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: November 20, 2023

State Enacts Ban on EPS Styrofoam To-Go Food Containers

Foam Free NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-November 14, 2023-The State of Colorado has 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. 

“The city is working to implement the second phase of the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act”, stated Alicia Archibald, Community Recycling Coordinator. “The state’s implementation of this legislation began in 2022, and over a two-year period, included the fee on disposable carryout bags, and now bans on expanded polystyrene (StyrofoamTM) to-go food containers from retail establishments”. 

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

The ban, which will go into effect on January 1, 2024, applies 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. The primary exemptions from this legislation include establishments that offer only 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. 

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

For more information on going “Foam Free in the Boat”, including additional details of the ban and alternative to-go container options, please visit 


Alicia Archibald, Community Recycling Coordinator, 719.600.8664 or email 
Mike Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email
Emily Hines, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, 970.871.7031 or email

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