Polystyrene Ban

The Barrington Town Council has adopted Ordinance No. 2019-20 requiring the use of non-polystyrene food service and packaging products that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

WHY BAN POLYSTYRENE? To improve the environment in Barrington and the health, safety, and welfare of its residents. Polystyrene is not easily recycled and when littered or discarded, creates undesirable impacts on water quality, storm water, and wildlife. There are alternatives that are reusable, recyclable or compostable which are already on the market and readily available.

Who Is Affected?

  • Food and retail establishments including caterers and food trucks.
  • Barrington facilities, operations, and Town-sponsored and permitted events.
  • Schools and daycare providers (public and private).
  • Packing material (selling, offering and distributing for sale or compensation, donating used packing materials under subsection (c)(3), re-using/repackaging, and receiving shipments within the town).
  • Clubs, organizations and non-profits serving food on premises.

Prohibited Items

All polystyrene food and beverage containers, cups, bowls, cartons, plates, trays, coolers, ice chests, lids, straws, stirrers, forks, knives, spoons and other single use items. These items are usually labeled with a recycling code Expanded Polystyrene (EP). Businesses should contact your supplier or distributor about alternatives to polystyrene.

When to Comply

  • Effective no later than July 1, 2019 for all retail establishments.
  • Effective no later than January 1, 2020 for all others. 


  • Sale of goods packaged outside of Town/not repackaged within Town.
  • To comply with the American Disabilities Act, food establishments who
    use straws are required to make them available to aid in drinking.
  • Exemption requests approved by the Town Manager.

Enforcement and Violations

Written notice issued by Town with 14 days to correct:

  • 1st offense: No fine
  • 2nd offense: $150 fine
  • 3rd offense: $300 fine

Failure to comply within 14 days subject to additional fines