Styrofoam is perhaps one of the most space-aged products mankind has ever invented. But, though the stuff is soft, lightweight and relatively durable, its also a dangerous environmental hazard. Because of this, the Sanitation Department is looking for a city-wide ban on the product, according to a report by DNA Info.
The legislation being proposed would place the focus of the ban on businesses and not consumers.
“This would not be something that the consumer would have to deal with,” said deputy commissioner for recycling and sustainability Ron Gonen, “From a pure dollars-and-cents standpoint, it costs us money to dispose of Styrofoam in a landfill. It’s also unhealthy for the environment. It doesn’t break down properly.”
Instead, the ban would fine or heavily tax businesses that continue to order and distribute Styrofoam in large quantities, forcing them to find more environmentally favorable alternatives.
“We’re either going to ban your product or packaging, or make you pay to have it sent to a landfill,” Gonen said.
Councilman Lew Fidler, who had expressed support for a ban in the past, reaffirmed his support for the new ban proposal.
“I would love to move this bill forward, as it would be a help to both our environment and to our businesses through tax incentives,” Fidler said in a released statement.