Judge Overturns NYC Ban On Foam Containers

New York City’s ban on plastic foam containers — what you may call styrofoam — didn’t live for long after going into effect this summer: a judge overturned the prohibition on foam takeout containers, coffee cups, egg cartons and other vessels, saying the city hadn’t fully explored cost-effective recycling methods.

One of former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s brainchildren, the ban was first conceived in 2013 as an environmental initiative and pushed forward by Mayor Bill deBlasio in January this year. The city’s sanitation department determined that the material was non-recyclable, as it mixed in with organic material during the collection process.

State supreme court judge Margaret Chan put the kibosh on the ban on Monday, reports The Guardian, ruling that sanitation department commissioner Katheryn Garcia didn’t seriously look at all the options, noting that industry estimates showed that 21 companies would buy used foam containers from the city.

If 40% of NYC’s wasted plastic foam was recycled instead of put in landfills, it’d save $400,000. Even more could be turned into savings if machinery improves, the judge said, adding that Garcia did not “clearly state the basis of her conclusions when the evidence contrary to her findings were clearly before her.”

A spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio said that the mayor disagrees with the ruling and will review options to keep the ban in effect.

“These products cause real environmental harm, and we need to be able to prevent nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from entering our landfills, streets and waterways,” she said.

New York City’s ban on foam containers overturned [The Guardian]