A bill advanced by the Assembly's Environment Committee would prohibit public schools and colleges in New Jersey from selling food in foam containers.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton says food remains on them, making the polystyrene containers difficult to recycle, so most recycling places won’t take them.
He says the foam products take years to degrade and small pieces end up littering streets and waterways.
"Because this stuff gets thrown out and finds its way into our waterways, by 2050 which isn't that far off we will have more plastic in our ocean than fish."
Dennis Hart leads the Chemistry Council of New Jersey. He says the foam containers are environmentally friendly.
"As you look at the overall life cycle of creation of a paper cup compared to creation of a Styrofoam, polystyrene cup, the significant energy production, significant costs, significant emissions that go into paper far exceed what goes in to making a Styrofoam cup."
Hart says foam products are popular in food service because they're relatively inexpensive, and forcing schools to use costlier paper products might prompt them to complain that it's an unfunded mandate.