NY Mayor Bloomberg to propose ban on polystyrene foam packaging

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 14, 2013 12:13 pm ET
Updated: February 14, 2013 2:16 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Government & Legislation

NEW YORK -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will call for a city-wide ban on expanded polystyrene foam packaging from stores and restaurants in his Feb. 14 State of the City address.

In an excerpt released before the speech, Bloomberg describes polystyrene foam as "one product that is virtually impossible to recycle and (that) never bio-degrades."

He further described the EPS product as "something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health…and is something that should go the way of lead paint."

"We can live without it," Bloomberg said. "We may live longer without it. And the doggie bag will survive just fine."

Steve Russell, vice president of the American Chemistry Council trade group in Washington, responded to Bloomberg's statements by saying that ACC "would welcome the opportunity to explore polystyrene foam food service recycling with the city."

"The technology exists to recycle polystyrene foam food service right now," Russell said in a Feb. 13 news release. "California is making this work – 22 percent of households there can recycle polystyrene foam food service cups…clamshells and other containers at curbside."

The California program covers 8 million people, according to Russell. NYC's 2011 population was estimated at 8.2 million.

Russell added that PS foam food service products make up less than one percent of solid waste in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Those products use significantly less energy and water to manufacture that paper alternatives and create significantly less waste by weight and comparable waste by volume, he said.

In a Feb. 14 phone interview, ACC plastics markets managing director Keith Christman said that New York’s City Council previously has considered a PS foam food service ban, but ultimately rejected it, partly because replacing EPS food service products with alternatives would cost the city an additional $7 million per year.

He also pointed out that an item on the city’s own Department of Sanitation website states that PS foam accounts for only 0.5 percent of the city’s waste.

“The facts strongly support continued use of polystyrene food service,” Christman said. “We support expanded recycling and would like to work with the city.”


Comments

NY Mayor Bloomberg to propose ban on polystyrene foam packaging

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 14, 2013 12:13 pm ET
Updated: February 14, 2013 2:16 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Image

Material Insights: Shell Chemical meets with residents

April 21, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Power outage at a PE plant and the return of a PVC feedstock plant after a fire on this week's Material Insights.    More

DuPont: Asia's food packaging market at a major transition point

April 21, 2014 1:26 pm ET

DuPont Co. touted its packaging innovations and applications, and updated the firm's commercial status at a media event two days before the Chinaplas ...    More

Officials warn China's PVC overcapacity will only get worse

April 21, 2014 3:47 pm ET

Despite worsening overcapacity, China still imports a million tons of PVC.    More

Chinese coal mining company Jinhui launches bioplastic factory

April 21, 2014 10:18 am ET

Chinese coal mining company Shanxi Jinhui Energy Group Co. Ltd. is diversifying into bioplastics, launching production this month on a $35 million, 20...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events