Bloomberg Pursues One Last Ban

Did anyone think the final month of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's third, and final, term was going to wind down quietly? After taking on cigarettes, sodas, and trans fats, Bloomberg is going after plastic-foam food containers.
December 9, 2013, 2pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"In his state of the city address in February, Mayor Bloomberg said that foam food containers, which are made from expanded polystyrene, are 'virtually impossible to recycle.' Environmental groups have long complained that because the foam does not biodegrade, it fills up landfills, and cities including Portland, Ore., San Francisco and Seattle have already banned them."

With a proposal to ban foam cups and foam takeout food containers from stores and restaurants, Bloomberg is pressing the City Council to get behind one last battle. And in this battle, the Dart Container Corporation and the American Chemistry Council are proving to be formidable adversaries.

"In dispute is whether 'dirty foam,' food containers soiled with oil, grease, condiments and leftovers, can be recycled," explains Kia Gregory. "And whether there is a recycling market out there willing to buy it."

"Dart says yes. The city says no."

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Published on Sunday, December 8, 2013 in The New York Times
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