New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a citywide ban on plastic-foam food packaging, a non-biodegradable polymer environmentalists have derided for years.
The ban will include takeout boxes, cups and trays, forcing restaurants and bodegas to restock, according to The New York Times.
“We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine,” said Bloomberg in excerpts from his speech released on Wednesday. Additionally, public schools would be instructed to remove plastic-foam trays from their cafeterias, the paper reported.
City officials are saying that curtailing an annual waste stream of about 20,000 tons of plastic foam could save up to $20 per ton in recycling costs equaling millions of dollars per year.
But small business owners disagree, saying the costs to use alternative packaging will hurt profits.
Suffolk County has, in the past, banned substances available commercially that it deemed unsafe for the public.
In 2011, the Suffolk County Legislature banned the sale of chemicals found in some bath salts, resulting in a product it determined was "powdered synthetic cocaine" and had been ingested as a hallucinogen. That same year, which banned the sale of gel candles in Suffolk County. The proposal was who was seriously burned in his family's backyard.
When asked on Facebook if Suffolk County should follow suit, locals mostly said yes, though some felt it wasn't necessary.
Christine Zichittella-Heeren said, "agree- it's common sense legislation."
"This is probably ONE thing I agree with Bloomberg on," said Dorothy Kenny, "just not sure about "BANNING anything". I have always avoided using this product, I really dislike the way food tastes when in it...taste like petro. NEVER drink coffee from styrofoam ever! Headaches...it can't be good for you."
David Hagermann added, "I would agree to circumvent and start doing away with styrofoam packaging."
Jen Johnson wrote, "It's about time! I have been saying this for years!! If it's so bad for the environment and not biodegradable why isn't it banned?? Finally a politician thinking with his brain and not with his wallet."
Jeff Carlson took the opposing view, writing, "Let the county stick to trying to figure out snow removal. Us business owners will run the economy. A tax incentive for environmentally friendly waste is one thing, but a ban is unamerican."
What do you think? Should Suffolk County follow along with New York City and propose a ban of plastic-foam food packaging? Share your opinion in the comment below.