New York Mayor Seeks to Ban Styrofoam
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will propose a ban on Styrofoam, the substance commonly used for take-out food containers that is almost impossible to recycle.
The mayor who has already targeted fat, sugar and salt in the city will turn to extruded polystyrene foam, saying it clogs up landfills, does not biodegrade and might harm human health.
Bloomberg will raise the proposal in his final State of the City speech on Thursday. The city provided reporters an advance text of the speech on Wednesday.
Bloomberg, in his 12th year as mayor, has made public health and sustainability hallmarks of his three terms in office, and he has taken aim repeatedly at the fast-food industry - most recently in his controversial plan to bar the sale of large portions of sugary soda, which goes into effect next month.
Styrofoam, he says, should go the way of lead-based paint, which the city banned from residential use in 1960. An estimated 20,000 tons of Styrofoam enter the city’s waste stream each year, and it can add an estimated $20 per ton to the cost of recycling because it needs to be removed from the recycling stream, the city said.
“After all, we can live without it. We may live longer without it. And the doggie bag will survive just fine,” the text of Bloomberg’s speech says.
Dow Chemical Co, which makes Styrofoam, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Similar bans have been adopted in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
The plan was likely to meet opposition from small businesses, since alternatives to Styrofoam tend to cost between two and five times as much.
Jesus H. Christ this guy is a control freak, and New York is his very own personal Sim City.