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NYC Mayor Bloomberg Wants to Ban Plastic-Foam Food Packaging. Should We?

Is it time to squash the Styrofoam?

In addition to bans on trans fats, smoking in public places and jumbo sodas, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to enact a city-wide ban on plastic-foam food packaging used in takeout boxes, cups and trays, reports Patch. The ban would affect restaurants, bodegas and public schools, if passed.

There is no such ban in the City of Chicago, though the measure was proposed and failed a few years ago. Several environmental and activist groups, like No Foam Chicago, are still pushing for it.

Mayor Bloomberg made the case for New York in his final State of the City address on Thursday. In his speech, the mayor compared the dangers of such packaging materials to lead paint and warned of its environmental impact, reported Yahoo! News.

"Something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health, that is costing taxpayers money and that we can easily do without, and is something that should go the way of lead paint," Bloomberg said. "We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag and the coffee cup will survive just fine."

Small businesses are saying such a ban would put an unfair burden on them, reported Patch.

In 2011, the City of Highland Park began a polystyrene foam recycling program in partnership with SWALCO, according to Patch.

More people are also recycling those pesky packaging peanuts. To find a drop-off center, visit the Plastic Loose Fill Council at www.LooseFillPackaging.com.

Tell Us: Should there be a ban on plastic-foam food packaging? Should there be more of an effort to recycle?

Harry Gio February 16, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Several companies in the past few years have offered numerous ways to create fuel from garbage, but Cities and States have turned down the proven system for various reasons; reasons that don't make sense... I guess they don't want to disturb their little kickbacks from their "Preferred" contractors (wink - wink).
Harry Gio February 16, 2013 at 04:02 PM
I guess if you want to PLAY you have to PAY... It's not just in Illinois - It's NATIONWIDE.
Merrill Medansky February 16, 2013 at 04:45 PM
There are biodegradable alternatives to plastic foam packaging that restaurants and colleges have been using for at least a few years. If more were used, the cost would come down and not be such a burden for small businesses. Maybe a phased in plan which starts with larger institutions (such as fast food franchises, cafeterias, etc.) could be a feasible approach...
Clif Brown February 17, 2013 at 07:46 AM
The recycling program in Evanston is a joke. There are no restrictions on what may be put in the blue bins, so everything gets put in. The result is what you'd expect - lots of non-recyclable stuff ends up taking a trip to the recycling plant only to then go on to the dump. Because the city will pick up anything and everything - (plastic bagged allowed) so that no driver can tell what he is collecting, the program is really only a glorified garbage collection service that soothes the public into thinking it's taking all the stuff they put in and returning the materials to use. There should be no food or liquids. There's plenty. There should be only specifically numbered plastics - but everything goes in - coat hangers, styrofoam, CD's, kids toys. I've found wood, construction debris, metal tubing, sheets of glass, metal hardware. It's a huge unregulated mess but as long as the city can city volume, it looks good bureaucratically. Anyone who doubts the mess should take a trip to the Groot recycling facility in Elk Grove Village, where manual laborers struggle to separate what should be separated by the residents. Garbage in - garbage out. It's not just Evanston. Recycling is a farce.
Dan Cox February 17, 2013 at 05:03 PM
King /Mayor Bloomberg is a Progressive Liberal hack. The Bloomberg influence in the 2n Congressional District proves that he is a dangerous force in America. I do not like Tyrant Kings, I will not miss him if somebody were to send him to his maker... Death To Tyrants.
Mary R February 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Yes
TAKH February 18, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Ban it! There are plenty of less hazardous and more recyclable containers out there and the more they get used the less the price will be.
Ash March 30, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Quit eating fast food and take are of two issues.

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