Your Takeout Is About To Get A Lot More Eco-Friendly

Seagulls and food-delivery patrons, rejoice! Our beaches will be cleaner and we can feel (slightly) less guilty about our incessant Seamless ordering because as of July 1, New York City has officially banned all styrofoam products. Stores and manufacturers will no longer be able to sell cups, plates, trays, or clamshell containers composed of the polymer because of environment concerns. "These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City," said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press release. "We have better options, better alternatives, and if more cities across the country follow our lead and institute similar bans, those alternatives will soon become more plentiful and will cost less." If you don't live in New York, don't worry! There's a good chance this eco-friendly trend may be coming your way. New York joins 70 other cities that have already banned these products, including Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis; San Francisco; Oakland, CA; Portland, OR; Albany, NY; and Seattle.

The New York Department of Sanitation picked up 28,500 tons of styrofoam in 2014 alone.

The ban is a major win for the environment and for marine life as well. Styrofoam is a huge contributor to litter, and there is currently no way to recycle it. When it breaks down, animals can mistake it for food. According to the environmental group Clean Water Action, many marine birds die of starvation after their stomachs fill with harmful plastics, including styrofoam. And a 2010 study found that 35% of fish sampled in one part of the Pacific Ocean had eaten some form of plastic. Thanks to the new ban, our weekly pad thai fix no longer has to put the ocean at risk.

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