New York City has appealed a judge’s decision to overturn a ban on foam foodservice items, Plastics News reports.
In her September 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 the lawsuit to overturn the foam ban said the court’s decision cleared 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.
New York City, on the other hand, maintains the foam is not recyclable.
“We disagree with the ruling, and we are asking a higher court to review the decision regarding the ban on expanded polystyrene,” sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia told Plastics News. “These products cause real environmental harm and we need to be able to prevent nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from entering our landfills, streets, and waterways. Expanded polystyrene is not recyclable, and we strongly believe that it must be eliminated from the waste stream.”
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.
Just last week, in a YouTube video directed at New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, Dart president Jim Lammers urged the city to recycle, not landfill, the foam.
Photo Credit: foam food containers via Shutterstock