Show Your Support for the Farewell to Foam Act

Recently, the Farewell to Foam Act was introduced in Congress aimed at phasing out single-use plastic foam food service products beginning in 2026. Friends of the Chicago River and more than 130 national, state, and local environmental and wildlife groups, including the Ocean Conservancy and Alliance for the Great Lakes, endorse this vital legislation to eliminate these harmful products which include foam packing peanuts and single-use foam food containers.

Express Your Support

Click here to express your support to Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth as well as your member of Congress.

Plastic foam is not recyclable, compostable or biodegradable and we know from the data collection we've done with Loyola University, shows that 80 percent of trash in the river is plastic of some kind, and 80 percent of that plastic is from food packing such as cups, bottles, and other degraded plastic fragments. It must be addressed if we are going to create a litter free Chicago-Calumet river system.  

This August in Illinois, the Coalition for Plastic Reduction, which includes Friends of the Chicago River and more than 35 organizations across the state, successfully advocated for the enactment of the State Entities Single-Use Plastic Reporting Act which bans the purchasing and distribution of polystyrene foam foodware in all state facilities and agencies. The law will go into effect January 1, 2025 for state agencies and January 1, 2026 for vendors. The law also requires state agencies to track and implement goals to reduce single-use plastic disposable foodware beginning in July of next year. 

Bans on plastic foam have a proven success record in reducing litter. Maryland, the first state to enact a ban, saw the amount of plastic foam foodware collected in cleanups decline by 65%. Since 2014, 11 states and Washington D.C. all banned plastic foam.

The Ocean Conservancy’s "What the Foam?" report found strong support for national action, with 70% of Americans across political parties supporting a national ban on this material. Congress is getting on board - there are now more than 70 members of Congress who support this bill.

Read the proposed Farewell to Foam Act legislation here.