NYC Foam Ban Dead, Recyclers Applaud Court’s Decision

foam food containers

by | Dec 4, 2015

foam food containersThe ban on foam foodservice products in New York City is likely dead, following a decision from a New York appeals court.

On Dec. 3 the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division denied New York City’s motion to appeal an earlier decision overturning the city’s ban on expanded polystyrene foam.

In September, the New York State Supreme Court overturned the city’s ban on foam foodservice items, saying that EPS is recyclable and calling the ban “arbitrary and capricious.”

In her ruling that overturned the polystyrene foam ban, Judge Margaret Chan said the “one undisputed short answer to whether EPS is recyclable is yes: single serve EPS is recyclable.”

Following the appeals court’s decision, New York City sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia must reconsider the city’s EPS policy and issue a new determination, Plastics News reports.

Members of the recycling industry, restaurant owners and foam manufacturers say the Dec. 3 decision will open the door for foam recycling in New York City.

The initial lawsuit to overturn the foam ban was filed by the Restaurant Action Alliance NYC, a coalition of New York City restaurant owners, Dart Container Corporation, recycling companies and foam manufacturers.

“The Appellate Division’s decision to deny the city’s request further proves what we have been saying all along: foam products can and should be recycled in New York City,” said Michael Westerfield, corporate director of recycling programs at Dart Container. “The evidence proves it — expanded polystyrene foam is 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled safely at no cost to tax payers. By allowing foam recycling to move forward, the city will save hundreds of jobs and bring in millions of dollars in savings, while doing what’s best for the environment.”

Photo Credit: foam food containers via Shutterstock



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