New York City is the next location that is considering a city-wide ban on all food containers containing polystyrene foam.
The action was initiated by the Sustainability Director of New York’s Department of Sanitation. The ban, if approved, would place responsibility on the food service providers and coffee shops operating within city limits. Sanitation officials were clear in stating that consumers would not be responsible for shouldering the burden by charging higher fees for food containers make of recyclable materials.
One of the 2013 goals for the Sanitation Department is to significantly increase the rate of recycling waste materials in New York City. With its high number of fast food and dine-in restaurants, as well as coffee shops and cafes, the number of non-recyclable food containers ending up in regional landfills is staggering – and expensive.
Disposing of Styrofoam in the garbage is not only costly to taxpayers but also bad for the environment as it doesn’t degrade properly as other environmentally friendly materials do.
The ban is currently under discussion and would likely take several months of negotiations before implementing.
Styrofoam food containers have been banned in a number of other large cities such as Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Brookline, Massachusetts; and by more than fifty municipalities in California.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re in the food business and currently using Styrofoam containers for take-away meals and leftovers, you’d be well served to investigate environmentally friendly packaging options. While many cities do not have bans on this material in place, it is only a matter of time. Better to be ahead of the legislation that scrambling to catch up after the fact!