Polystyrene Ban Overturned | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 93 Issue 38 | p. 31 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 28, 2015

Polystyrene Ban Overturned

Department: Government & Policy
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A trial court says recycling polystyrene food containers could save New York City money.
Credit: Shutterstock
Someone holding a bag filled with three food containers.
 
A trial court says recycling polystyrene food containers could save New York City money.
Credit: Shutterstock

In a victory for chemical manufacturers and polystyrene product makers, a judge last week overturned New York City’s ban on plastic foam food containers. Earlier this year, the city’s sanitation commissioner determined that single-use expanded polystyrene containers, such as coffee cups and clamshell containers for carryout food, cannot be recycled economically. That, in turn, triggered a citywide ban on retailers’ use of these plastic containers as of July 1. Foam food and beverage container makers joined city restaurants in fighting the ban, arguing that expanded polystyrene can indeed be recycled. A trial judge agreed, finding that the city could save money by recycling at least part of its polystyrene waste and ordering the sanitation commissioner to reconsider the issue. Michael Westerfield of Dart Container, a major producer of polystyrene containers and one of the plaintiffs in the case, says, “The victory here is for the environment and for recycling.” Chemical makers had fought the ban but were not part of the lawsuit. Now, the administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is weighing its options on how to restore the ban.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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