Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) recently announced his support for Intro 1060, a proposed law before the City Council that addresses the environmentally harmful and expensive problem of polystyrene foam containers while adding important protections for small business owners and nonprofits.
The bill, introduced by Councilman Lewis Fidler with the critical support of the Bloomberg Administration, would restrict the sale and provision of single-service food items in packaging containing polystyrene foam – eliminating a product that costs the city an estimated $1.8 million a year to dispose of in landfills, where it will sit for 500 years or longer.
Included in the proposed law is a hardship exemption for small businesses and nonprofits, a maximum one-year warning period for noncompliance and an opportunity for the polystyrene foam industry to make a case to the Administration that their product be classified as recyclable.
“As the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee chair for 12 years, I have never believed that the needs of our city’s business community should take a backseat to our shared goal of a cleaner environment,” Gennaro said. “However, after hearing from both sides on this issue, I firmly believe the benefits of removing single-service polystyrene foam containers from our waste stream will far outweigh the costs to small businesses and consumers.”