Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Ban


During the 2019 legislative session the Maryland General Assembly passed Chapter 579 (Sections 9-2201 through 9-2207 of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland) banning the use of food service products composed of expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly referred to under the trademark name of Styrofoam.

EPS food service products (e.g., cups, plates, bowls, trays, etc.) left in any food service inventory should be used by July 1, 2020, when the law goes into effect. On or after July 1, 2020:

  • a person may not sell or offer for sale in the state an EPS food service product; and
  • a food service business or school may not sell or provide food or beverages in an EPS foodservice product.  UPDATE:  See June 11, 2020 Public Notice relating to the deadline on the use of EPS foodservice products.
MDE is tasked by the legislature to conduct outreach about the ban. The county departments of health or environmental protection will oversee the enforcement of the law, and have the authority to assess fines for noncompliance.

Montgomery County has published a List of Recyclable and Compostable Alternatives for Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Ware that contains information about vendors and alternatives to EPS products.

For more information, please refer to the MDE EPS Website.

For complaints or enforcement inquiries, please contact:

Environmental Health Services, Food Control Office

Phone:  301-600-2542

Email:  FoodControl@frederickcountymd.gov