The New York City ban on foam foodservice items has been overturned by the New York State Supreme Court.
In her ruling that overturned the polystyrene foam ban, Judge Margaret Chan said the “one undisputed short answer to whether EPS is recyclable is yes: single serve EPS is recyclable.”
Restaurants, recycling companies and foodservice packaging manufacturers that filed a lawsuit to overturn the foam ban say the court’s decision clears the way for New York City to develop a recycling program that would cover 100 percent of polystyrene products and generate new revenue for the city.
The Restaurant Action Alliance, a coalition of New York City restaurant owners, along with foam manufacturer Dart Container Corporation were part of the lawsuit. Dart’s Michael Westerfield says the company’s “offer to pay every dime of the start-up costs for recycling, and to ensure the city can sell its recycled product, stands.”
After the ban was first introduced in 2013, foam manufacturers including Dart were given an opportunity to prove that foam foodservice items could be economically and logistically recycled within the city’s five boroughs. Dart conducted tests that proved this feasibility and offered to recycle the city’s #6 rigid plastics, which are currently dumped into landfills.
Photo Credit: foam food containers via Shutterstock