NEW YORK, NY – An environmental advocacy group on Monday called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and city agencies to expand recycling requirements for polystyrene foam.
The Coalition to Put a Lid on It NYC called for the mayor and the Department of Sanitation that would cover 100 percent of products made by polystyrene foam – usually known by the Dow Chemical brand name Styrofoam – rather than the 10 percent now covered.
“Our small businesses work long hours all year long to provide for our families, and every added cost comes right out of our pockets, or the pockets of our customers,” said Jose Paguay, owner of D’sosa Gourmet in the Bronx. “This will means hundreds of dollars to me and my family every month, and I know my customers will not be any happier about paying more to cover those costs. Recycling makes sense, while a ban that only covers food-service products targets our businesses in a way that is simply unfair.”
Restrictions on polystyrene foam were passed by the City Council last year, under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The foam bill approved just over a year ago allowed for lawmakers to ban the product if, after a yearlong study, the commissioner of the Sanitation Department finds the material can’t be recycled effectively. The yearlong study ends on Jan. 1, and a ban could take effect in July, according to published reports.
The food-service industry has long valued polystyrene foam for keeping food warm or cool, but environmentalists see as a landfill-clogging, litter-generating scourge.
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