Suppliers of single-service foam foodservice packaging could see their sales dented in New York now that new recycling laws have been implemented.
The NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) banned the use of single-service foam food and beverage containers in the city from the start of this year after determining that dirty, post-consumer, single-service foam containers cannot be recycled in a manner that is “economically feasible, environmentally effective, and safe for employees.”
New York City foodservice establishments and mobile food commissaries are no longer offering or selling single-use foam food containers. This includes takeout boxes, cups, plates, packing peanuts, bowls and trays.
This comes as part of the city’s curbside recycling program and follows a further investigation into the problem after the proposed ban was fought six years ago.
The Restaurant Action Alliance, a food industry lobbying group that formed to fight the ban, was the primary body behind pro-foam backing in 2013.
Since then, Kathryn Garcia, a sanitation department commissioner, has proved that styrofoam recycling was economically impractical and environmentally untenable.
However, there are some exceptional cases where the use of foam is still permitted.
Foam containers used for pre-packaged food that has been filled and sealed prior to receipt by the food service establishment, are allowed, alongside, containers used to store raw meat from a butcher case and blocks used as protective packaging in shipping are not covered under this law.
Affected businesses, agencies, and non-profits will have a six month warning period lasting through June 30, 2019.
After this, if establishments are found to violate the ban they will receive fines for each Notice of Violation issued within a 12-month period in the following amounts: $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.