New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has one more nanny-initiative before he leaves office: banning Styrofoam.
The City Council’s Sanitation Committee will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss a ban on the use and sale of Styrofoam cups and plates.
The ban aims to cut down on non-biodegradable containers that have an adverse effect on the environment. But critics say it is yet another Bloomberg plan that would result in costly alternatives if passed.
Replacing the foam cups and trays used in restaurants and school cafeterias with the cheapest alternative would cost $91.3 million, according to the American Chemistry Council.
“When polystyrene foam is used for food service it becomes a devastating pollutant that infects our parks and waterways while never biodegrading and has been classified a carcinogenic health hazard by the National Institute of Health,” Bloomberg spokesman Jake Goldman told the New York Post.
A Brooklyn restaurant owner called the measure mayoral overreach.
“I use foam containers because they’re great at keeping food fresh and because they’re economical,” said Rosemary Nunez, owner of La Nueva Estrella El Castillo. “This is just another example of the administration trampling on the interests of the people who create jobs in this city.”
Sanitation officials argue that plastic foam containers make up 23,000 tons of trash per year, but the total amount of annual waste in NYC is more than three million tons, according to The Post.
The ban on Styrofoam was first proposed last summer by Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler.
“I’m not a toadie for the mayor. But when he’s right, he’s right,” said Fidler. “Let’s get this done. “
It already has the support of Speaker Christine Quinn, who previously voted in favor of Bloomberg’s term limit extension.