Business, Economics and Jobs

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants Styrofoam ban


Used Styrofoam containers are seen on the streets of Oakland, Calif.


David Paul Morris

Styrofoam may soon be going the way of the Big Gulp in New York City.

In his final State of the City address Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for a citywide ban on plastic foam containers.

The containers, used for everything from coffee to Chinese takeout, clog up landfills because they don't biodegrade and may be a human health threat, NBC News reported.

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Styrofoam also increases recycling costs by as much as $20 per ton, Bloomberg told Agence France-Presse.

The ban would require City Council approval.

And while some councilors indicated their support, the restaurant industry issued a more measured response.

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“We have to consider what the costs will be for both government and the business owners who make the city run,” New York State Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Moesel told The New York Times.

He also noted that paper containers can often be more expensive than plastic foam.

Restaurants in New York City were hit with a ban on large sodas late last year, and have been under a trans fat ban for nearly six years.

Styrofoam containers have already been nixed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, according to Bloomberg