New York City is set to implement its citywide ban on single-use foam containers beginning January 1, 2019. The ban includes foam takeout containers, cups, packing peanuts, plates, bowls and trays.
Polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam, typically cannot be recycled and doesn’t biodegrade. It also comprises 30 percent of landfill content and could leach carcinogens into food and beverages when heated. New Yok City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have been targeting polystyrene foodservice packaging since 2013.
Over the years, the ban has taken legal hits from some food industry lobbyists. In October, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the city’s latest attempt to ban expanded polystyrene foodservice packaging was neither “arbitrary” nor “capricious.”
Gothamist has more details:
New York City will implement widespread disposable foam container restrictions starting January 1st, after winning a significant battle against the polystyrene-loving members of the restaurant industry in June. Starting New Year's Day, single-service styrofoam items SUCH AS clamshell containers, cups, plates, bowls, etc., and shipping fillers will be banned across the five boroughs.
“But why???" you are perhaps weeping into your pile of contraband packing peanuts. The short answer: Styrofoam typically can't be recycled and does not biodegrade, but instead, sits around sponging up other chemicals and toxins after humans toss it out. (According to American Disposal Services, styrofoam makes up 30 percent of our national landfill content, due to the fact that people really go HAAM on the packing materials.) And then, in addition to choking our landscape and the critters who inhabit it, styrofoam may leach carcinogens into food and drink when heated.