ACC restates: EPS ban will cost NYC millions

Steve Russell
American Chemistry Council

Published: April 26, 2013 3:53 pm ET
Updated: April 29, 2013 12:01 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Industry Trends

We read with interest Ron Gonen's comments on polystyrene foam and recycling in New York City [April 8 Perspective, Page 7].

First, we congratulate the city on its ambitious and appropriate recycling goals, and we look forward to working together to make those goals a reality. There is a lot of misinformation out there about recycling, so we welcome the opportunity for serious discussion and exchange of data, case studies and other information about the most effective approaches to recycle all sorts of plastic packaging, including polystyrene foam. Several of our industry's representatives have met with city officials and presented options for evaluating recycling PS foam food-service products in the city. Although recycling these products can be challenging, it can be done. Today more than 65 U.S. cities — including Los Angeles — collect PS foam for recycling.

Not only can foam recycling be done, but doing so can make economic sense when considering the complete economic impact of a ban and considering the city's own numbers. Our economic impact study found that a ban would cost taxpayers and consumers in New York City nearly $100 million a year and result in nearly $400 million in lost economic output. The study concludes that most of this cost falls on restaurant customers, but $11 million falls on city agencies, including those serving the elderly and children. According to the city's own numbers, landfilling all foam — not just food service — appears to cost the city $1.5 million (based on the city's total landfill costs of $300 million, and data from the city's website that indicates all foam is 0.5 percent of total waste).

Moreover, alternatives like paper cups aren't collected by the city for recycling, so landfill costs may go up — not down — if foam food-service is banned. The simple fact is alternatives cost twice as much as foam and use more energy, water and produce more waste.

There are real opportunities for New York to get game-changing gains in all types of plastics recycling, and we look forward to helping create those opportunities.

Steve Russell

American Chemistry



ACC restates: EPS ban will cost NYC millions

Steve Russell
American Chemistry Council

Published: April 26, 2013 3:53 pm ET
Updated: April 29, 2013 12:01 pm ET

Post Your Comments

Back to story

More stories


Producers urge booming Brazilian housing market to use EPS

April 18, 2014 1:08 pm ET

Leaders in Brazil's plastics industry are asking lawmakers to mandate the use of expandable polystyrene (the raw material for expanded EPS) in new...    More

JM Eagle reopens shuttered Colorado plant with 8 PVC lines

April 18, 2014 1:02 pm ET

JM Eagle has reopened its Pueblo, Colo., plant with eight PVC pipe extrusion lines back in operation following an 18-month shutdown.    More

Texas consumer group urges more science in advocacy campaigns

April 17, 2014 1:35 pm ET

WASHINGTON—The Texas Consumer Association (TCA) is raising concerns about consumer advocacy campaigns against certain chemicals and plastic...    More


Using social media to answer consumer questions about plastics

April 17, 2014 10:59 am ET

Plastic packaging was stoutly defended on a recent Q&A session on social media site Twitter, run jointly by the British Plastics Federation and...    More

EU moving closer to rules that will reduce plastic bag use by 80 percent

April 17, 2014 10:54 am ET

European Union countries could have to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags by at least 80 percent by 2019 under draft rules backed by the European...    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