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New York City to ban foam cups and containers

By Mason White 12:22 PM February 8, 2013
Foam cups 

By: David Ross
New York City is known for clamping down on New Yorkers in every part of their lives and now foam cups and containers are about to get banned.

Foam containers and cups might get banned from the menu at takeout food shops in the largest city in the nation.

A sanitation official said this week that the idea is being discussed, but it is too early to say what will be recommended in a forthcoming report on increasing recycling rates.

Foam, sometimes sold under the trade name Styrofoam, has long been popular among restaurants because of being lightweight and heat retaining, but environmentalists complain that it takes years to decompose in the trash. Some communities across the country have banned the use of foam at restaurants for this reason.

As New York authorities prepare a report on how to double the recycling rate of the city, foam, is “one of the things that you have to watch,” Department of Sanitation Deputy Commissioner Ron Gonen said this week.

“It may or may not be a component of the overall plan due in a few weeks,” Gonen, who oversees recycling initiatives and environmental sustainability, said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year set a goal to recycle 30 percent of household waste in the city by 2017, an increase of the current 15 percent. “The city is always willing to look at new ways to reduce waste that cannot be recycled or reused,” spokesperson John McCarthy said this week.