Mass. Town Bans Plastic, Polystyrene Cups, Food Containers

The measure includes Attleboro restaurants, convenience stores and other places serving prepared food and drinks.

May 21, 2021

Plastic Food Containers

ATTLEBORO, Mass.—The Attleboro, Mass., City Council has approved a ban on plastic and polystyrene foam cups and containers from restaurants, convenience stores and other retailers selling prepared food and drinks, the Sun Chronicle reports. The prohibition will take effect January 1, 2022.

The council unanimously voted to ban styrofoam containers and had a split vote to forbid the use of plastic to-go containers and cups.

“I am pleased to announce that the Attleboro City Council has adopted another one of my proposals to make Attleboro a leader in being a cleaner, greener city in Massachusetts,” said Mayor Paul Heroux.

“This is about our commitment as a city to do what is right for our local environment for today’s inhabitants and tomorrow’s, with the hope that other surrounding communities, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Rhode Island, will also follow suit with these measures.

The ordinance prohibits retailers and restaurants from serving coffee or prepared hot foods in polystyrene foam or plastic cups or containers. The mayor asserted the retailers and restaurants can switch to paper goods, as has Starbucks and Dunkin’. He also pointed out that restaurants and convenience stores give out around 805 of the polystyrene foam or plastic products with purchases, with grocery stores accounting for much of the remainder that isn’t banned, such as meat trays.

Heroux has been working to make the city more sustainable since his election in 2018. Initiatives under his leadership include a ban on single-use plastic bags and the distribution and sale of plastic straws. The city council is also considering a ban on single-use plastic water bottles.

The mayor of Attleboro isn’t the only one demanding sustainability-minded company policies. Consumers are demanding sustainable practices, too. See how your business can incorporate sustainable practices into your retail structure by reading “Sustainable-and Safe” in NACS Magazine.