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9/22/2015 | 1 MINUTE READ

New York City Ban On PS Foam Is Overturned

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The New York State Supreme Court has overturned Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia’s decision to ban foam foodservice items.

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It’s a good news day for those makers of polystyrene foodservice items: the New York State Supreme Court has overturned Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia’s decision to ban foam foodservice items. New York City would have been the largest city in the nation to prohibit the sale of single-use PS foam. 

 

“This decision is a victory for the environment and for New York City, which can now become a national leader in recycling by removing every piece of polystyrene from its waste stream—and making money in the process,” said former City Councilman Robert Jackson, who heads the Restaurant Action Alliance that was a part of the lawsuit. “The judge has ended the debate about polystyrene recycling by making clear it can be recycled and there is a market for it. Now it’s time for the city to capitalize on this development.”

 

Michael Westerfield of Dart Container Corp., which was also a party to the legal case, said, “Our offer to pay every dime of the start-up costs for recycling, and to ensure the city can sell its recycled product, stands. The victory here is for the environment and for recycling. We are eager to work with the city to get recycling started as soon as possible.”

 

The ruling from Judge Margaret Chan overturns the ban completely, stating clearly that the “one undisputed short answer to whether EPS is recyclable is yes: single serve EPS is recyclable.” The ruling refers the matter the Department of Sanitation for further consideration consistent with the court order, allowing for recycling the city’s foam and #6 rigid polystyrene to move forward.

 

“We’re gratified by Judge Chan’s decision and look forward to working with the city to implement a comprehensive recycling plan that will reduce the volume of our city’s waste stream and generate revenue for the city,” said Randy Mastro, partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn.

 

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