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Bloomberg Wants to Ban Plastic-Foam Food Packaging; Do You Agree?

East Hampton Village already bans plastic bags — should polystyrene cups and take-out containers be next?

In his final State of the City address Thursday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a citywide ban on plastic-foam food packaging, a non-biodegradable polymer environmentalists have derided for years

As reported by The New York Times, the ban will include polystyrene takeout boxes, cups and trays.

“Something that we know is environmentally destructive, that is costing taxpayers money, and that is easily replaceable, is something we can do without," Bloomberg said.

In February 2012, East Hampton Village's ban on plastic bags took effect. The year prior, nearby Southampton Village became the first municipality in New York State to ban plastic shopping bags.

A polystyrene packaging ban has not been brought to the table in East Hampton, but Bloomberg's move shines a national spotlight on the product that is popularly, though erroneously, called Styrofoam.

Bloomberg said polystyrene, which does not biodegrade and is "virtually impossible" to recycle, currently adds up to $20 per ton to the cost of recycling, because it has to be seperated. Eliminating it altogether could save the city millions of dollars per year, city officials said.

Fort-Greene-Clinton Hill Patch reports that some small business owners disagree with the proposal, saying the costs to use alternative packaging will hurt profits. 

Are you for or against banning plastic-foam packaging in your town or village? Tell us why in the comments section below.

Sharon Marie Buckler February 15, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Yes! We have known for years that it is not biodegradable, so what are we waiting for? And if there is an impact within the food industry, maybe giving some type of tax credit to the stores for changing over will further entice them to do so, quickly.
S.B. Bonacker February 15, 2013 at 07:45 PM
YES YES Bub. Switch over to heavy-duty cardboard, it's biodegradable. If I have to pay an extra 25 cents for one of these containers, I will gladly do it. I am getting sick and tired of picking styro coffee cups and food containers out of the bushes and marsh. And the pigs who throw these food containers out their car windows should be fined THOUSANDS, or even arrested. I see too much of this garbage on the side of the roads and it really makes me sick.
Ronald Fields February 15, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Yes, it should be banned... It is unhealthy for you when served with hot foods but it is a trash issue which will not go away... no matter where you go in this country there is drink bottles, foam plates and cups, plastic bags and other plastic packaging all over the roads, woods, up in trees, etc... I worked for a dairy (Tuscan/Pet) and they were only interested in profits and not the invironment. Need to go back to paper....
CUL8R February 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Cardboard or even the reusable or recyclable plastic containers (Chinese take out style) would even be better than the Styrofoam! Wishing they would ban cigarettes too - anyone notice how many of those get tossed out the windows??? Purely disgusting!
Blanca Femina February 16, 2013 at 01:24 AM
I'll tell you what - I could almost not care less. As long as it doesn't turn into something anywhere near as annoying as the NO PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS situation. I truly can't even handle shopping at Waldbaum's in EH anymore, because the # of times i REMEMBER to bring a recycleable bag with me is 0... and why do they feel, after I've spent way too much $$ on groceries, that they need to charge me for a paper bag? CVS doesn't charge me for a paper bag. So i guess my gripe, then, is really more with Waldbaum's than with the "law."
Preliator February 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM
How about we ban short wanna-be dictators who feel they need to tell people how to live every waking moment of their lives.
PJ Delia February 16, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Pros and Cons as I see it Reasons not to use plastic foam containers: 1. Unhealthy, leach chemicals into the food. 2. No recycling available and never will be 3. Interferes with other recycling 4. non-degradable, forever trash 5. Many people have reactions, pimples around chin and mouth, and don't know why 5. unsafe, break much more easily, spilling hot coffee, etc. Reasons to use plastic foam: 1. Cheaper, because no one wants them Guess which argument wins.
PJ Delia February 16, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Blanca, I forget all the time too and the idea is to charge us for the bags so we start to remember to bring our own. Pain in the a** but a move in the green direction
Anne Van Couvering February 16, 2013 at 04:52 PM
I'm definitely for a ban. They shouldn't have allowed them to start with, and they leach hormone-altering substances into hot food - frankly, I don't eat at places that serve food in them. Good going, Bloomberg!
Anne Van Couvering February 16, 2013 at 04:54 PM
I just stick the bags in the car and leave them there. Frankly, dealing with huge mounds of plastic bags in the cabinets is far more of a pain. My husband keeps coming home with the darn things from Schiavoni's in Sag, and I've taken to growling at him.
SadderBudweiser February 16, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Yeah! Wilkinson should go.
Blanca Femina February 17, 2013 at 05:38 AM
@Anne - A) I've tried leaving the bags in my car, but I always forget to bring them in and then there I am at the checkout with tons of groceries and I'm faced with either making everyone behind me wait while I go get my bag(s), or paying for something I shouldn't be being charged for. B) I never had a problem with having TOO MANY plastic bags under my counters. In fact, I STILL use them all the time. I don't know why people were so hard on them - do you know how many times I re-use the damn things?! One flimsy plastic bag will buy me groceries, carry my clothes, carry my pre-made dinner... etc. etc. One time I actually brought two plastic grocery bags with me to Waldbaum's just out of spite - that was the only time I remembered my "re-usable" shopping bags.

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