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New York City Bans Use of Styrofoam

New York City Bans Use of Styrofoam

Written by Margaret Badore

New York’s City Council voted unanimously to ban the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers yesterday. New York is now the largest U.S. city to implement such a ban on single-use foam containers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the bill into law before leaving office at the end of the year. NBC New York reports that Bloomberg supports the ban:

“Foam pollutes the waste stream, making it harder to recycle food waste as well as metal glass and plastic,” the mayor said in a statement after the vote.

New Yorkers throw away 23,000 tons of polystyrene per year.

NY Daily New reports that Speaker Christine Quinn is also in support of getting rid of polystyrene:

“Most foam ends up in landfills where it can sit for literally 500 years or longer,” Quinn said. “The only thing in the world that lives longer than cockroaches or Cher is styrofoam.”

Environmental groups applaud the bill. “This is a tremendous decision, and grand victory for us all. Future generations will see this as the obvious choice,” said Christopher Chin, Executive Director of the Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education. “But this vote today makes a strong stand and proves that New York is truly ready to make a difference.”

The ban will take effect in a year, unless industry makers can prove Styrofoam can be recycled–something that has not successfully been done by any municipality. “They’ll have another year to show that, in my view, what is up is really down, but I don’t believe they’re going to be able to do that,” Councilman Lew Fidler, the bill’s sponsor, told the Daily News.

The council also voted in a commercial composting program for large restaurants and grocery stores at Thursday’s meeting.

This post was originally published in TreeHugger

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Photo Credit: Rhys A.

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142 comments

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4:53PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Great! Cities that trash that much should do something about it!!

6:53AM PST on Jan 8, 2014

I hope the rest of the cities follow. This will help to cut cut down a lot of unnecessary petroleum and garbage to ruin ocean lives and our environment.

8:48PM PST on Jan 1, 2014

execellent! I sure hope this spreads across the U.S.

1:38AM PST on Dec 30, 2013

Not a moment too soon! And the rest of the world should follow too...... It's a health hazard and detrimental to the environment.

9:26AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Good for them!

3:09PM PST on Dec 26, 2013

Wow, great news!

12:59AM PST on Dec 25, 2013

EXCELLENT ! Hope others follow ****

4:33PM PST on Dec 23, 2013

This is wonderful news. I wish they'd ban it now and not wait a year (or another 23,000 tons to go before stopping.)

3:23PM PST on Dec 23, 2013

Great news. That's why I love NY.

11:52AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

Good for NYC...let's hope others follow.

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