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What Major City Might Ban Foam Food Containers?

Foam food containers could soon be a thing of the past in NYC. The controversial method of to-go cups, plates and cartons are already banned in San Francisco and dozens of other U.S. cities, but city council lawmakers are now considering adding NYC on to the ban as well. The City Council’s sanitation committee recently held an open meeting on the issue which lasted six hours and is a likely sign that the conversation will at least move forward by the end of the year.

One possible measure being considered would outlaw the containers after a year’s inquiry and see if the tons of containers could be effectively recycled instead. However, the city’s plastic recyclers say that this is currently not feasible now. The plan would be immensely cost effective for the city, though. Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway said yesterday that 23,000 tons of plastic foam are thrown out each year in New York and that city spends roughly $310 million annually to bury three million tons of trash.

“This is actually a rush into the future,” said Lewis Fidler during the sanitation committee hearing. “For the protection of the Earth, for our environment, for people who work in this industry.”

However, Councilwoman Diana Reyna said the measure would “unduly burden small businesses by increasing inventory costs” and would ultimately leave customers paying the difference. Major corporations like Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s said they are currently working towards an alternative towards foam food containers, with the latter claiming that they hoped to have a replacement within three years.

(Photo: Reuters)

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