In 2019, the ban on single-use styrofoam packaging in NYC officially went into effect, and now Governor Cuomo is looking to expand that ban throughout New York State.
As part of his 2020 State of the State Agenda, Governor Cuomo has proposed banning single-use styrofoam food containers and styrofoam “packing peanuts.” according to his proposal, “the bill would authorize the State Department of Environmental Conservation to review and take action to limit or ban other packaging material upon a finding of environmental impact.” Making it the strongest statewide ban in the country.
If passed, the ban wouldn’t go into effect until January 1, 2022, but it would affect any establishments that use polystyrene foam (or styrofoam) take out, or to-go containers including: restaurants, caterers, food trucks, retail food stores, delis and grocery stores. However, those exempt from the ban would be “prepackaged food sealed prior to receipt at a restaurant or food service establishment, as well as packaging for uncooked or raw meat, fish or eggs.”
Those caught in violation of the ban would be fined $250, followed by a $500, $1,000, and then $2,000 fine for a second, third, and fourth offense. In a statement made by Cuomo,
“Styrofoam is one of the most common pollutants and a public health hazard that impacts humans and the environment alike. From take-out containers to packing peanuts, this material is everywhere and it will continue to pollute our waters and harm our wildlife for generations to come if we do not act. With this proposal, we can build on our nation-leading initiatives to protect the environment and move New York another step closer to a greener, more sustainable future.”
This bill would expand on the single-use plastic ban that was passed in 2019 and will officially go into effect statewide as of March 2020.
featured image source: shutterstock
Also published on Medium.