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Mayor Bloomberg to Propose a Citywide Ban on Plastic-Foam Food Packaging

One Fort Greene restaurant owner said switching from the packaging would negatively affect business.

BROOKLYN, NY -- In his final State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will propose a citywide ban on plastic-foam food packaging, a non-biodegradable polymer environmentalists have derided for years.

As reported by The New York Times, the ban will include takeout boxes, cups and trays, forcing restaurants and bodegas to restock.

“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. 

"I think Mayor Bloomberg is trying to make an impact, but it's going to hurt the economy ultimately," said Jamar White, owner of Buffalo Boss on Fulton Street.  

"He's imposing, I think, an unfair burden on small business like myself who depend on inexpensive packaging that can do the job," White continued. "I understand it's a great political move, like reducing cup sizes, but I think he's being unduly unfair on small businesses."

If the ban passes, Buffalo Boss would have to switch from styrofoam containers to more costly paper packages, which White said would have an adverse impact on the business. 

"We'd have to switch over to paper packages, which is typically four to five times the cost of styrofoam," he said "We do [use] recycled styrofoam [containers], but I think he's targeting it all."

He said making the switch to paper from plastic would take approximatley two weeks, but he's already begun shopping around for the more expensive alternative.  

"I've been looking into manufacturers," he said. 

Under the mayor's administration, the percentage of waste recycled by the city has fallen from 23 percent in 2001, to 15 percent today.

In his speech, the mayor also will pledge to install 1,000 recycling containers on sidewalks, effectively doubling the current number.

bill scott February 15, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Bloomberg has said many,many times ,how stupid New Yorkers are and one has to lead them by the nose to do the right thing. He's proving it true. Git on board the choo,choo, new Yorkewrs. Follow the leader.
Margaret Corry February 15, 2013 at 08:37 PM
I agree. Unfortunately, it will take a little out of your pocket... but it will ultimately help the world. What does your W2 look like?
Linda February 15, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Just like Rudi.
lastchancetx@yahoo.com February 15, 2013 at 08:49 PM
What we could do less of is bloomberg interfering in everyones lives...what is the costs of 1000 containers....what are they made of....who is responsible for pick up...how much does this add to the annual budget?????
Igor February 15, 2013 at 08:50 PM
This man needs a check up from the neck up. Something wrong with this man. He forgot he's just the mayor, not God. who gives a rat's ass what he think?
Linda February 15, 2013 at 08:54 PM
Must be a member of the WBC.
Linda February 15, 2013 at 09:02 PM
If he were really Adolph, you would not have the b***s to post that.
ron allen February 15, 2013 at 09:16 PM
i cant believe there are so many idiots out there that want to give rave to anyone telling them what we can and can not do....we are giving away our rights day by day and these are the rights that our fathers, grandfathers and sons and daughters have put thier lives on the line to defend ..... shame on anyone who whats to kiss the ring of anyone making laws taking our freedom to choose. what do you tell the people who make those containers when they lose thier jobs ....sorry we were too lazy to dispose of them in a proper manner so you can be jobless due to one stupid mayors campaign ......shame on all of you who back this.
bob hollander February 15, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Shouldn't he ban the use of cars in NYC. The emmissions cause far more damage.
Scott Paul Thrasher February 15, 2013 at 09:44 PM
NYC....Do your selves a favor....quick! BEFORE this LIBERAL NUT CASE votes himself another term! Put him on a rail and run him out of town. Before he also BANS everything in your lives that YOU think is fun. That he personally gets a bug up his tinny little napolean complex butt. This guy is out of control. He has gotten the feeling he is King. He has been drinking the same water OBAMA has. They both think someone didn't VOTE THEM into a OFFICE but TO BE KING!
Angie February 15, 2013 at 09:46 PM
this is what we need to worry about I see so thats why the letter my husband & I wrote to EPA about local HVAC companies busting freon out in our enviorment went unaknowleged it didnt seem to matter. its all about platic waste that cant be broke down and not in the shit that we breathe in This company in Tennessee also charges clients $250 reclaim fee for this freon thats suppose to be disposed of for the $250 charge fraudulent I think so!! But ill be sure to notify them of platic waste since its worse for my kids than the freon that they've been breathing in for the last ten years or soo!! Thanks for worring about the health of others!!!! I feel the love
Rich Patterson February 15, 2013 at 10:06 PM
This is government at it's worst. Is he going to tell me i can only flush my toilet once a day to save money. TYPICAL DEMOCRAT !!!@
Here we go again February 15, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Mr. Mayor ...Bloomberg ... I think my diapers might be dirty ... will you change them for me??? You seem to do all my other decision making .. after all I'm only 63 years old, successful, raised 3 great kids into responsible adults and run my own business .... but I'm obviously not smart enough to take care of myself, according to you and the styrofoam Federal Government. Note to the lo-info people: The diaper bit is just a vehicle to get the point across so you can hold off on the diaper quips.
Lxix Isee February 15, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Bloomberg is just a would be petty despot.
luckyfreeman February 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM
we need to pass a law to abolish large capacity assault meteorites in meterite free zones...keep smoking that medical marry wanna ok...
luckyfreeman February 15, 2013 at 10:35 PM
agreed
Mike Kosowski February 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Natzi
loretta hoover February 15, 2013 at 11:13 PM
I thought Hitler died.
Jo A Matsko February 15, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Can we ban him???!!!
Ben February 16, 2013 at 12:28 AM
When they came for the gypsies, I wasn't concerned because I'm not a Gypsy. when they came for the Jews, I wan't concerned because I'm not a Jew... Pull your heads out of the sand sheeple , because rest assured...Your turn WILL come...Fascists ALWAYS find a way to control ALL of the populace...If I were one of you over the top greenies...I'd start worrying about that new tax they are proposing on co2...YOU KNOW... co2... That gas that we ALL breath out of our lungs.... But first I'd start paying closer attention to just exactly what agenda 21 is all about and how it WILL affect your future and that of your children...Be careful what you wish for sheeple... BTW.. Isn't King Bloomberg that BILLIONARE jerk that flies that fuel burning chopper all over the place,and idles his v-8 powered S.U.V.for an hour with the A.C. running before he actually drives it on hot days so that he doesn't have to experience the unpleasant sensation of a hot car during the summer....all the while expecting you to take mass transit..."To save the planet"??? FOOLS.
joanne February 16, 2013 at 03:32 AM
#1 Families usually try to shelter us from the worst of life. I assume your family did that for you. Hitler started by murdering the mentally and physically disabled. He had the help of doctors who told their families they were being sent to sanatoriums where they could be helped, and then they were murdered. They practiced with hoses coming from exhaust being fed into vans, later used on Jews. Then they started picking up union members, Communists, other anti-government persons, out spoken Catholics, and Jews. They were put in concentration camps. Some were returned to their families; most were not. Laws were passed that kept Jews from practicing law, medicine, science, or teaching. Scientists went to the United States. Then Jews were banned from cinema and stage. Actors, producers, cinematographers went to England and America if they could. Non-Jews were not permitted to shop at Jewish stores. All this happened within the first year or so.
joanne February 16, 2013 at 03:34 AM
#2 Nothing of note changed little by little. The important things changed immediately. But they didn't effect white Germans, just their Jewish and liberal neighbors. They lived with their Jewish neighbors, because most Jews were integrated into German society and were not very religious. The did have Friday night dinner with their families who lived in Jewish neighborhoods, or went to Synagogue during the High Holidays, but not really very religious themselves. So when the Brown Shirts came for the Jews in their building, they knew that their Jewish neighbors were being taken away. They also knew that the Jews in other buildings were being taken away. You say that Hitler was a "Power Hungry Maniac with no regards for others, except himself". He was so much more. He was depraved. He was prurient. He was certain he was chosen to do what he decided to do, and that was to kill every Jew on the face of the Earth. He began to do that just as soon as he came to power, and in the end, he was one third of the way to his goal in just 12 short years, while fighting a two front war. Killing Jews was more important than winning the war.
joanne February 16, 2013 at 03:35 AM
#3 And somehow you see the same traits in the Mayor. I'm sorry your family lived in Europe during WWII. May I assume they were not Jews or Gypsys? They would have a somewhat different perspective I think. Perhaps your grandparents lived in a country that joined Germany, so your grandfather was forced to fight on that side. Or maybe he was too old or too young and just saw what happened, and didn't know what the politics was, or what was really happening. One move victim of the war. The Mayor is trying to improve the lives of the people who live in New York. He has seen how banning foam containers has improved cities elsewhere, like San Francisco, a tiny, mini-New York with no snow. The cost is about the same or lower. The new containers are recyclable. We recycle 70 to 75% of our waste stream. I think his small drinks cups is stupid. Both should be offered, and there should be a campaign to get people to choose the small size, but that is good enough. I'll drink mine over a half hour's time, not all at once. He was wrong, not Power Mad, and is going to lose on that one. But he is right about foam, and we proved it in San Francisco.
joanne February 16, 2013 at 04:06 AM
sssail; Leaves make great compost. We have Green Bins. All the leaves, "garbage" waste, bones, and such go into the green bins. They get picked up once a week. We have three small ones because of the height of roof on the breezeway from the back yard to the front of the building. If I have a lot more, I'll bring them to the collection place in plastic bags, dump the leaves, and bring the bags home to be used again. In San Francisco, the street sweepers pick up the leaves on the street. People usually sweep them into the street, though some sweep them up and put them in the Green Bin. All you have to do is give it some thought. Humans are remarkably able to figure out ways to address problems. We collect Christmas trees to grind them up to use them as mulch in Golden Gate Park.
MDL February 16, 2013 at 04:28 AM
If he bans it he better not have a company sitting in the wings that can replace it.. he seems to be playing some interesting games here. either his think tank is running out of ideas. or he is makking money with his new rules.. probably has a company producing bio degrade corn plastic.. that can be used for fuel... burn the cities garbage to produce power mayor... its such a simple solution ..the polution will take care of itself...and be 99.9% clean... even this plastic produces hi btu's
Andrew O'Donnell February 16, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Oh, yes! Bloomberg wanting to reduce the amount of styrofoam waste in landfills is TOTALLY him being a fascist Nazi who wants to be sole dictator of the entire Earth! Puh-leeze, people! You're all throwing this WAY out of proportion. He is not trying to rule the way you live your life; he is trying to ban objects which are poisonous to the environment. The next thing you know he'll create after-school programs for children and people are going to pipe up, "Oh! You think you know what's best for MY child? I'm not sending him to your Nazi programming camp, buddy!" And then he'll try to get some jobs out there and people will shout, "Now you want us to just live for the rat race? Keep us under your thumb while you tell us where and when we can work? Not today, Bloomberg!" You can't EVER please you people! Every single thing he does that is supposed to improve lifestyle is dejected by you. America may be the land of the free but we still have laws. You can't do whatever you want, whenever you want. America, nor ANY country, has EVER been that free!
Andrew O'Donnell February 16, 2013 at 10:12 AM
You're a little bit confused. Trying to reduce the amount of styrofoam in landfills is a far cry from telling you what television shows you can and cannot watch. Next you'll be telling me that speed limits on the road are part of the liberal agenda, right? After all, this is AMERICA. Who is allowed to tell me how fast I can drive? I have FUN driving 100 MPH so it should be legal!
Andrew O'Donnell February 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM
You think him trying to ban the use of styrofoam is him playing god? You're delusional. It's an environmental law, just like any of the other ones out there. Being the mayor means trying to improve the quality of lifestyle for his citizens; I think banning hazardous materials that just collects in his cities landfills is spot on for what mayors do.
Andrew O'Donnell February 16, 2013 at 10:20 AM
What are you talking about? Did you .. even read the article? Bloomberg is not in charge at all of getting the containers. Everything is EXACTLY the same except .. what the containers are made of. It is up to the independent business to find a manufacture for the containers businesses decide to get, just like they did with styrofoam. Pick is up is handled by .. the sanitation department. You know .. normal garbage men. You put the new containers in your garbage can when you are done with it .. like you did with styrofoam. It lessens the annual budget (as it states above) as destroying styrofoam is more difficult than destroying paper.
Andrew O'Donnell February 16, 2013 at 10:22 AM
I don't remember "the right to use styrofoam to pollute our environment further" being in the Constitution. Are you one of those people that thinks there shouldn't be any laws, at all?

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