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plastic foam food container

Plastic Foam Company: ‘Yes, It’s Recyclable’

plastic foam food containerOne of the largest manufacturers of plastic-foam food containers is trying to convince New York City that the post-consumer material can be recycled.

Dart Container Corporation is fighting the city’s proposed ban on expanded polystyrene containers for take-out food. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says this packaging is “virtually impossible to recycle,” the New York Times reports.

Dart’s director of recycling, Michael Westerfield, disagreed. He said Los Angeles recycles foam food containers – but an official from that city said L.A. had stopped the experiment because it was contaminating the recycling stream. New York City is also seriously concerned about such contamination.

Still, the council has amended the ban to give Dart until January 1, 2015, to prove that food container recycling is viable. If it can’t, the ban would take effect July 1, 2015. The city council is likely to vote on the ban before the end of this year.

Package makers have not been the only ones to oppose the measure. More than 1,000 New York City businesses have written letters urging the City Council to oppose the proposed ban. Restaurant Action Alliance NYC, which describes itself as a “grassroots coalition” of local restaurants, coordinated the campaign – but the group’s website is copyright the American Chemistry Council, and the New York Times says the ACC formed the group.

Takeaway: A leading packaging manufacturer is trying to prove to New York that its product is recyclable, post-consumer – but winning that argument will be an uphill struggle.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

Picture credit: Gainesvegas via Flickr

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