Delaware Law Makers Cancel Togo Boxes, Bar Restaurants From Offering Straws

Once signed, Senate Bill 51 passed by the 152nd General Assembly of Delaware, will restrict the use of styrofoam togo boxes and bar restaurants from offering straws.

This bill, which was introduced on February 17, 2023, has recently passed on June 27, 2023, and is now ready for action by the Governor.

Bill Overview

Senate Bill 51, sponsored by Senator Paradee and co-sponsored by several representatives and senators, including Reps. Baumbach, Reps. Phillips., Sen. Gay, Sen. Hansen, Sen. Hoffner, Sen. Huxtable, Sen. Lockman, Sen. S. McBride, Sen. Pinkney, Sen. Sokola, Sen. Sturgeon, Sen. Townsend, Reps. Chukwuocha, Reps. Dorsey Walker, Reps. Griffith, Reps. Harris, Reps. Heffernan, Reps. K. Johnson, Reps. Lambert, Reps. Lynn, Reps. S. Moore, Reps. Morrison, Reps. Neal, Reps. Parker Selby, Reps. Romer, Reps. Michael Smith, and Reps. Wilson-Anton, addresses the use of single-service plastic implements and polystyrene containers in food establishments within Delaware. The primary goal of this legislation is to promote environmentally friendly practices in the food service industry according to the bill.

Key Provisions

  1. Prohibition on Polystyrene Foam Containers: This Act prohibits food establishments from providing consumers with ready-to-eat food or beverages in polystyrene foam containers. Polystyrene foam, often known as Styrofoam.
  2. Restriction on Single-Service Plastic Items: The bill also restricts food establishments from providing single-service plastic coffee stirrers, cocktail picks, or sandwich picks.
  3. Plastic Straw Usage: Food establishments are prohibited from providing single-service plastic straws unless specifically requested by a consumer.

Effective Date

These restrictions are set to take effect on July 1, 2025. This delay allows food establishments time to adjust their practices and find alternative solutions.


The legislation includes certain exemptions to these prohibitions:

  • Polystyrene Foam Packaging Exemptions: The definition of “polystyrene foam food service packaging” excludes certain items like coolers used for seafood processing or shipping and containers for raw meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, fruits, or vegetables.
  • Plastic Straw Exemptions: The ban on plastic straws does not apply to patients or residents of hospitals or long-term care facilities. Additionally, it does not cover plastic straws attached to pre-packaged goods such as juice boxes.
  • Exemptions for Specific Entities: The restriction on providing ready-to-eat food in polystyrene foam food service packaging does not apply to fire companies, health-care providers offering long-term, acute, and outpatient services, and nonprofit organizations, including religious institutions.