With New York City’s restrictions on soda sizes set to come into effect next month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now considering a ban on the Styrofoam cups the drinks sometimes come in, along with any other containers made of polystyrene foam material.
The New York Post hears from a Sanitation Department official that City Hall is considering a measure that would ban restaurants and food carts from using Styrofoam in an effort to reach Bloomberg’s goal of making 30 percent of the city’s household trash recyclable by 2017. New Yorkers currently recycle 15 percent of their waste. “We’re studying all the different things in our waste stream,” said Ron Gonen, the city’s deputy commissioner for recycling. “We want to make sure that everything in our waste stream is recyclable.”
Cities such as San Francisco and Seattle have implemented bans on Styrofoam, earning the approval of environmental advocates. But restaurant and food-cart owners find the measure problematic, and those in the Big Apple are voicing their concerns. “Now is not the time to continue to put more regulations and cost burdens on an industry that is already struggling to make a profit,” a New York State Restaurant Association spokesman said.
No official or legislative action has been taken on instating a ban, but Gonen said it is “one of the things that you have to look at” and the department may include it in an upcoming report of recycling recommendations to City Hall.