New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be using his final State of the City speech to further his plan to ban the use of styrofoam throughout the city, yet another step in his plan to make NYC a little cleaner and healthier.
Bloomberg’s view on styrofoam, which is frequently used in restaurants for carry–out meals, is that it should be banned in the same manner as dangerous lead-based paint. It is a very difficult material to recycle, meaning as much as 20,000 tons of it ends up in the city’s landfills every year. On top of that, it adds about $20 a ton to the cost of recycling, since styrofoam has to be removed from piles before anything can be recycled.
Opponents to this proposal are mostly styrofoam manufacturers and restaurant owners who claim other materials are too costly, but with Bloomberg’s record for pushing through bans, particularly those on smoking in bars and restaurants, and large servings of sugary drinks, it is likely that this will go through.
Styrofoam is gross, and there is no doubt affordable ways for restaurants to make smarter choices in their take-out packaging. Not only is it bad for the environment, but styrofoam is one of the last materials I want anywhere near my food. If anything, I think it should also be considered a health hazard. What kind of materials do you think would be better for food packaging?
Image CC licensed by waferboard