Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio has announce that styrofoam will be officially banned by July of this year. The city has decided to ban the material often used for insulating take out foods and drinks due to concerns over its impact on the environment.
Single use polystyrene containers were restricted in the city by a 2013 which allowed for a reversal of the restrictions if methods of recycling the material were developed. City lawmakers have now decided to ban expanded polystyrene completely following the Department of Sanitation conclusions that no environmentally friendly or economically feasible methods of reuse were available for polystyrene. Despite the Department of Sanitation’s ruling, foam cup and container manufacturer Dart Container Corporation argues that the ban will have a negative economic impact.
“It [the ban] also prevents these recyclable materials from being used in the manufacture of new products. As we have repeatedly demonstrated to the Commissioner, there is a strong, existing market for recycled polystyrene,” said Dart’s Corporate Director of Recycling Programs Michael Westerfield.
While styrofoam producer Dart has been against the proposed ban since its proposal, the city’s decision has been supported by the New York State Restaurant Association.
“The New York State Restaurant Association appreciates the efforts of the NYC Department of Sanitation and the Mayor’s Office to enact legislation that moves our industry toward sustainability while recognizing the needs of small businesses via a long transition period and a commitment to educate businesses on alternatives before fining them,” said Chris Hickey, Regional Director NYC of the NYSRA, in a statement.