Starting July 2015, NYC Bans Plastic Foam
Advocates say New York City's plans to ban food establishments from using plastic foam containers starting July 1, 2015 will help the environment.
Eric Goldstein with the Natural Resources Defense Council says New York's joining cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC in the move to phase out the cheap but harmful material known as polystyrene.
"We use it for minutes as a coffee cup or a food container, but it stays around for hundreds if not thousands of years," he says. "It litters our streets; it gets into our waterways, where it's a threat to our marine environment."
Opponents of the ban worry alternative materials are too expensive. But Goldstein says studies show there's been no noticeable economic impact in other cities with a ban.
"Restaurants and other food establishments in these cities are doing just fine," he said. "And they have cleaner streets, cleaner parks and less pollution in their waterways as a result."
The De Blasio administration says nonprofits and businesses with less than $500,000 in annual revenue could be exempt if they prove using nonfoam materials would create financial hardship.
The administration says there will be a general grace period, without fines, until January 2016.