New York City to ban Styrofoam
Styrofoam will be banned in New York City starting in July this year.
The administration of New York City mayor Bill De Blasio made the decision on the heels of a Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announcement that expanded polystyrene (EPS) styrofoam is non-recyclable.
According to a statement from De Blasio’s office, the determination was made after considering environmental effectiveness, economic feasibility, and safety for employees of the DSNY and Sims Municipal Recycling, the City’s recycling processor.
The ban means that now the material won’t be used at all within the city. Businesses will have a six-month grace period from when the ban comes into effect – January 1, 2016 – before fines can be imposed.
Styrofoam is actually a trademarked brand of closed-cell extruded PS foam currently made for thermal insulation and craft applications. It is owned and manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company – but the name has come to mean any expanded (not extruded) PS foam, such as disposable coffee cups, coolers, or cushioning material in packaging, which is typically white and is made of EPS beads.
“These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City. We have better options, better alternatives, and if more cities across the country follow our lead and institute similar bans, those alternatives will soon become more plentiful and will cost less,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “By removing nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from our landfills, streets and waterways, today’s announcement is a major step towards our goal of a greener, greater New York City.”