NYC Mayor Bloomberg Wants to Ban Plastic-Foam Food Packaging. Should We?

Is it time to squash the Styrofoam?


In addition to bans on trans fats, smoking in public places and jumbo sodas, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to enact a city-wide ban on plastic-foam food packaging used in takeout boxes, cups and trays, reports Patch. The ban would affect restaurants, bodegas and public schools, if passed.

There is no such ban in the City of Chicago, though the measure was proposed and failed a few years ago. Several environmental and activist groups, like No Foam Chicago, are still pushing for it.

Mayor Bloomberg made the case for New York in his final State of the City address on Thursday. In his speech, the mayor compared the dangers of such packaging materials to lead paint and warned of its environmental impact, reported Yahoo! News.

"Something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health, that is costing taxpayers money and that we can easily do without, and is something that should go the way of lead paint," Bloomberg said. "We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag and the coffee cup will survive just fine."

Small businesses are saying such a ban would put an unfair burden on them, reported Patch.

In 2011, the City of Highland Park began a polystyrene foam recycling program in partnership with SWALCO, according to Patch.

More people are also recycling those pesky packaging peanuts. To find a drop-off center, visit the Plastic Loose Fill Council at www.loosefillpackaging.com.

Tell Us: Should there be a ban on plastic-foam food packaging? Should there be more of an effort to recycle?

Jerry Cain February 16, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Instead of trying to ban the product, why not provide start up funds for a company that recycles the products with a goal of a profitable company providing living wage jobs. A win-win for everyone.
John L February 16, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Is there no way to make those packages biodegradable?
The Oracle February 21, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Absolutely right! This is the perfect example of a business opportunity waiting to happen.
The Oracle February 22, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Interestingly, I get wine shipped in from California on a regular basis. They use recycled paper formed to fit around and cushion the bottles. If that stuff can protect a wine bottle, it can certainly be used as to replace a doggy bag.
illinihawkmom February 22, 2013 at 11:30 PM
Recycling polystyrene is an after thought. Using other biodegradable materials for packaging is a better way. I agree, give insentives to companies that recycle and use alternative materials. It is difficult to recycle the foam and if it goes to a landfill there is no chance of it ever disappearing. Plastics are made from oil so less plastic less oil dependancy.


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