Stores, food service establishments, and manufacturers in New York won't be able to possess, sell, or offer single-serve Styrofoam containers or cups – including “packing peanuts” - beginning July 1, 2015.
It might be convenient, but expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) is a product that is wreaking havoc on both the environment and health of our planet.
Because this #6 plastic can last virtually forever without a suitable solvent for decomposition, New York’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, and his administration announced Thursday that stores, food service establishments, and manufacturers won’t be able to possess, sell, or offer single-serve Styrofoam containers or cups – including “packing peanuts” – beginning July 1, 2015.
The motivating factor? Purely environmental. “These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City,” stated de Blasio. “We have better options, better alternatives, and if more cities across the country follow our lead and institute similar bans, those alternatives will soon become more plentiful and will cost less.”
Mayor Bill continued, “By removing nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from our landfills, streets, and waterways, today’s announcement is a major step towards our goal of a greener, greater New York City.”
Styrofoam containers might be popular in restaurants, and food carts, and vending trucks, but the environmental disaster they pose can no longer be dismissed. Vendors will now have to seek out recyclable alternatives, though businesses with less than $500,000 in annual revenue can apply for exemption if using alternative containers would cause “undue financial hardship.”
The Big Apple isn’t the only city to ban “dirty foam”, though it is so far the largest. In the past San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland all enacted similar measures.
“Getting rid of Styrofoam is just terrific news for recyclers, for composters, for taxpayers, and for all living beings that depend on having a healthy ocean—that is to say, all of us,” said Brendan Sexton, Chair, Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board. “Well done, Commissioner Garcia and Mayor de Blasio!”