Sometimes the wheels of progress can move too slowly. But the new year brings a positive change in New York City that is good for the environment.
There have been fewer white foam cups and takeout containers in recent months. This is because restaurants have used up their supplies before the ban on styrofoam-like packaging. The law will go into effect on Saturday after the state Legislature passed the ban in 2020.
According to the DEC, foam packaging is one the leading contributors to environmental litter. It negatively impacts wildlife and waterways as it easily breaks down but doesn’t biodegrade. It becomes microplastic pollution when it does eventually break down. Recycling programs will not accept food containers and loose “peanut” packing material that is used in shipping.
Cayuga County considered banning food service waste in 2020, but decided to wait until the state took action.
The implementation took a while, so the ban didn’t arrive in time for many people. However the 2022 deadline was set in order to not place an unfair burden on restaurants when they switch to new forms packaging.
Although we had advocated for a gradual approach that would have removed foam from the supply chain faster, we are pleased to see that it is now almost non-existent.
The Citizen editorial board is composed of Michelle Bowers, executive Editor Jeremy Boyer, and Mike Dowd, managing editor.
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