Steamboat Springs prepares for statewide plastic foam ban in 2024

For more information on going “Foam Free in the Boat”, including additional details of the ban and alternative to-go container options, please visit
Courtesy / City of Steamboat Springs /

The City of Steamboat Springs continues to work toward the local implementation of a statewide ban on expanded polystyrene, or plastic foam most commonly referred to as styrofoam, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

“The state’s implementation of this legislation began in 2022, and over a two-year period, included the fee on disposable carryout bags, and now bans on expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) to-go food containers from retail establishments,” said Community Recycling Coordinator Alicia Archibald in a statement.

The ban, part of the state’s 2021 Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, aims to mitigate effects on Colorado’s environment and natural resources resulting from the disposal of plastic foam in landfills across the state.

When it takes effect at the start of next year, the ban will apply to retail food establishments that prepare or package food for human consumption, either directly, or through a delivery service, according to a press release from the city.

This applies to convenience stores, grocery stores, fast food establishments; full and limited-service restaurants and mobile food units.

Exemptions from the legislation include establishments that offer only prepackaged foods that are not time or temperature controlled for safety, and market or roadside markets offering only uncut fresh fruits and vegetables for sale.

Once the ban takes effect, all Colorado retail food establishments will no longer be able to distribute plastic foam products for use as a container for ready-to-eat food. If a retail food establishment purchased these products before Jan. 1, they may continue to distribute any remaining inventory.

Residents can visit to find more information on the ban.

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