Virginia Budget Includes Delay on Styrofoam Ban Effective Dates

The recently-passed Virginia budget for fiscal years 2023-2024 includes legislation delaying implementation of state bans on polystyrene for five years. The ban, sponsored by Delegate Betsy Carr (D-Richmond) required large food vendors to stop using the packaging material by July 2023, and all vendors by July 2025. But those deadlines are now July 2028 and July 2030, respectively.

After the ban’s final passage in 2021 under Democratic control, Virginia earned praise for its position from environmental groups. At the time, restaurant lobbyists warned that restaurants needed the containers amid an increase in takeout due to COVID-19. At the same time then-Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill, he also signed a ban on executive branch agencies using single-use plastics, which was reversed this year by Governor Glenn Youngkin.

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