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Polystyrene foam container ban

Styrofoam drink cup and to-go container with red prohibition circles around them.
Restaurants, grocery stores and nonprofit food servers cannot serve, sell, or package food or beverages in Styrofoam™ or other polystyrene foam containers.

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Policy overview

Restaurants, grocery stores, and nonprofit food servers in Portland are prohibited from serving, selling, or packaging food and beverage in products made of polystyrene foam.

Polystyrene is often called Styrofoam™, but there are many brands of foam to-go containers, bowls, cups, food trays, and other packaging, all of which are included in this ban.


Businesses found in violation of the policy will receive a written warning from the City of Portland.

If the business does not come into compliance, fines are set at $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second, and $500 for any subsequent violation in the same calendar year.

Report an out-of-compliance business

Contact the City's Garbage and Recycling staff.

More about the policy

The purpose of this policy is to prevent litter and protect wildlife.

Products made of polystyrene foam are difficult to recycle and often end up as litter in our open spaces, rivers and oceans. The foam breaks down into small pieces that harm wildlife and aquatic animals when they eat it, thinking it's food.

Find more details about the ban at Portland City Code 17.102.310 Prohibition on Certain PSF Uses and Enforcement, Notice, and Fines.

Polystyrene recycling options

Polystyrene foam is not allowed in your home or business recycling. Drop-off recycling options are limited, but if you have polystyrene foam you want to recycle, use Metro’s Find a Recycler website to see if any private recycling companies are currently accepting it (sometimes requiring a fee).