Proposed ban on polystyrene in NY

The Governor is proposing a ban on certain polystyrene, or Styrofoam products, and it’s going to have an impact on local businesses.

Posted: Jan 14, 2020 5:45 PM
Updated: Jan 14, 2020 5:55 PM

UTICA - Polystyrene is a material most commonly called Styrofoam. It’s non-biodegradable and typically can’t be recycled, so it ends up in landfills.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a ban on foam containers used for prepared foods and beverages. Changing over to a different material will cost more, but some businesses like Utica Roasting Company have already made the switch with minimal expense.

Aaron Nelsen is Utica Roasting Company's Café Manager. "I hope that the cost difference isn’t going to be so astronomical that everyone has to across the board raise their pricing substantially. At that point a surcharge on a takeout container doesn’t seem like the end of the world, but there are some people that might be a little frustrated by it."

It’s a different story down the street at Bella Regina, where the amount of Styrofoam products used is much greater. Manager Angela Piacentino is continuing to use polystyrene products to keep their prices from rising.

"It’s kind of hard for us to say, until we reach that point where we’re going to have to do that. I hope it doesn’t affect business. We’ll see what happens."

The ban also includes packaging materials often referred to as packing peanuts, and authorizes the State DEC to take additional action to limit or ban other packaging material upon a finding of environmental impact. Right now we have no details on what that ‘action’ is.

Bill Rabbia is the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority's General Manager. "The devil’s really in the details too... no one has really seen the actual legislative language and how they’re proposing the truly specific ban."

If the proposed legislation is passed, the ban will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2110756

Reported Deaths: 53589
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28067010460
Queens2773899962
Suffolk2011123400
Nassau1836973175
Bronx1836016585
New York1383374503
Westchester1296922291
Erie895951808
Richmond750081841
Monroe690121110
Orange48326843
Rockland46952963
Onondaga38954677
Dutchess29475445
Albany24703356
Oneida22632514
Niagara20041374
Broome18626366
Saratoga15376168
Ulster13912257
Schenectady13207205
Rensselaer11229142
Putnam1061692
Chautauqua8956145
Chemung7769136
Oswego762492
Ontario740693
Steuben6955145
Sullivan667476
St. Lawrence664297
Cayuga633892
Jefferson614968
Wayne578370
Cattaraugus572291
Genesee5436124
Herkimer5190109
Clinton483633
Madison456489
Livingston452360
Fulton442391
Tompkins434952
Montgomery4254127
Columbia4065104
Cortland392662
Tioga383063
Warren365957
Wyoming358353
Allegany355787
Chenango350376
Otsego346347
Greene340379
Washington316255
Orleans312083
Lewis280836
Franklin256312
Delaware238538
Seneca201156
Schoharie169217
Essex159326
Yates117926
Schuyler108014
Hamilton3132
Unassigned10619
Out of NY0250
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