NYC Plastic Foam Ban Takes Effect - NBC New York

NYC Plastic Foam Ban Takes Effect

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NYC Plastic Foam Ban Takes Effect
    AP
    FILE PHOTO: A foam cup, center, is discarded in a trash bin in New York Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    New York City's ban on plastic foam is now in effect.

    The ban applies to single-use food packing products, including takeout containers and coffee cups. It also applies to so-called "packing peanuts."

    The ban was first passed into law at the end of December 2013, near the end of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg's time in office. Mayor de Blasio also supports the prohibition.

    New York is now the largest city in the country -- following San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon -- to prohibit the foam containers, which environmental groups have long decried as a hazard that clogs the nation's landfills.

    "These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City," said de Blasio in a statement when he announced the ban. "We have better options, better alternatives, and if more cities across the country follow our lead and institute similar bans, those alternatives will soon become more plentiful and will cost less."

    Administration officials believe that the ban will remove nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene from the city's streets, waterways and landfills, and it continues de Blasio's push to create a greener New York City. Last year, he announced an ambitious plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 from its 2005 levels.

    Administration officials said the ban will have a grace period, without fines, until January 2016.

    Nonprofits and businesses with less than $500,000 in annual revenue could qualify for an exemption from the plastic foam ban, but they would have to prove that using nonfoam materials would create financial hardship.

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