Styrofoam Use to Be Banned in County Food Service Operations  

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Styrofoam Use to Be Banned in County Food Service Operations  


All food service businesses in Montgomery County may not sell or provide food or beverages in any foam or rigid polystyrene (Styrofoam™) food service products starting Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. Items to be prohibited include food containers, plates, hot and cold beverage cups and other products made of polystyrene.

In addition, County-law will prohibit the sale of any foam or rigid polystyrene food service ware products or polystyrene loose fill packaging. All food service ware purchased and used must be either recyclable in the County or compostable. A list of vendors that supply recyclable or compostable food service ware is available on the website of the County’s Department of Environmental Protection at

In 2015, the County Council—which at the time included current County Executive Marc Elrich—approved legislation that prohibited the use and sale of expanded polystyrene (food service ware and loose fill packaging). The legislation required that all disposable food service ware be compostable or recyclable in the County. Polystyrene (which falls into the category of No. 6 plastics—a number that can be found in the recycling designation for many products) food service ware is not recyclable in the County.

In 2020, County Executive Elrich proposed, and the County Council enacted, Council Bill 33-20 that clarified the existing requirements and outright states that the use and sale of all No. 6 polystyrene food service ware is banned to minimize any possible confusion.

Businesses that fail to comply with the requirements can be cited with a Class B violation of the Montgomery County Code. They could be subject to fines of $100 and $150 for subsequent violations. Those penalties can be assessed for each day a violation persists.

DEP’s Recycling and Resource Management Division (RRMD) Waste Reduction and Recycling Section is conducting an outreach awareness campaign to ensure that all affected businesses are aware of these requirements. As part of its ongoing education campaign on the issue, DEP is offering to assist businesses and organization in their efforts to comply with the requirements.

For more information about the law, including resources, visit the DEP website at or call MC311 by dialing 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311 (outside of Montgomery County).

This is a Montgomery County, Maryland announcement.


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Posted by

Roy Kelley, Associate Broker

Realty Group Referrals (Retired from RE/MAX Realty Group)

6 Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Office:  301-258-7757 

Comments (10)

Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

We do have a obligation to make this one Earth a better place for our great great great grandchildren.  Well, we made it to the last day of the year.  Let's go out with a bang.  Sell a house. 


Happy New Year


Dec 31, 2021 04:24 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Roy. Transition is necessary and Montgomery County is ahead of the curve. Enjoy your day.

Dec 31, 2021 04:37 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Things that are dangerous for our health should be banned across the United States as they are in other countries.

Dec 31, 2021 04:51 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

So good to see communities thinking of long term instead of just short term

Dec 31, 2021 05:05 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Roy Kelley I would think that is a great idea as bad as plastic bags 

Happy New year 

Dec 31, 2021 07:06 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I love hearing stuff like this...about time!  Good for that area!

Dec 31, 2021 08:17 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Roy,  are land fills are fill already and this should of when into effect years ago.


Dec 31, 2021 02:20 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I'm noticing as time goes by, there is much less use of styrofoam.  And, that's a good thing.

Dec 31, 2021 04:37 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your feedback. It is always good to hear from you.

Jan 02, 2022 10:18 AM