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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.

Confirmed Cases: 447262

Reported Deaths: 33070
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens713927238
Kings665867312
Bronx524224939
Nassau459892199
Suffolk459152008
Westchester376721452
New York328923177
Richmond156661084
Rockland14698675
Orange11734498
Erie10833689
Monroe5839289
Dutchess5042153
Onondaga4158205
Albany2969134
Oneida2363123
Ulster223195
Niagara1703101
Putnam156763
Sullivan156548
Broome143769
Schenectady137248
Saratoga97617
Rensselaer89242
Columbia57937
Chautauqua5339
Madison48017
Ontario45235
Oswego4123
Tompkins3880
Warren35233
Steuben33942
Fulton33124
Orleans32254
Otsego3225
Greene31918
Herkimer31610
St. Lawrence3134
Genesee3095
Wayne3055
Chemung2943
Washington28714
Cattaraugus2486
Chenango2457
Tioga22125
Montgomery2194
Livingston1998
Cayuga1942
Jefferson1590
Clinton1545
Essex1540
Cortland1410
Wyoming1305
Delaware1294
Seneca1043
Allegany941
Schoharie830
Franklin630
Yates627
Lewis500
Schuyler330
Hamilton140
Unassigned017
Utica
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