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New York City Bans Single-Use Polystyrene Containers

Polystyrene cups

In a win for environmental sustainability, New York City Council has voted unanimously to ban single-use polystyrene containers. With New Yorkers discarding an astonishing 23,000 tons of polystyrene a year, the ban makes a lot of sense, and makes New York the biggest city in the United States to take the step.

Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign the ban bill into law before he leaves office at end of this year, in a matter of days. He has been quoted as saying, “Foam pollutes the waste stream, making it harder to recycle food waste as well as metal, glass and plastic”. Bloomberg added that, “Once the ban takes effect, it will be much easier and more economical to collect and separate recyclables”.

Once signed into law, the ban will begin in a year, unless polystyrene manufacturers can prove the product can be adequately recycled. The bill’s sponsor, Lew Fidler, has said “I don’t believe they’re going to be able to do that”. So far, no municipality has be able to successfully recycle polystyrene.

Many other cities throughout the United States have banned single-use polystyrene takeout containers. Now with New York adding to this growing trend, we are sure it won’t be the last city to act.

Image CC  licensed by Neal Jennings
Via Treehugger, NBC New York

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