New Yorkers could soon find themselves looking for alternatives to the Styrofoam cups dispensed by food vendors.
Michael Bloomberg, the city’s health-conscious mayor, is considering banning Styrofoam containers in order to clean up the city’s landfills and cut garbage disposal costs, Salon notes.
Styrofoam cannot be recycled and ends up in landfills. Every year, New York spends about $86 a ton to bury more than 2 million tons of trash. Recycling Strofoam alternatives like paper and glass is a lot cheaper at $10 and $14 a ton, respectively.
Environmentalists have long complained about Styrofoam, but its low cost and convenience has made its popular among fast food vendors.
The city has not said whether it plans to actually move forward with a ban on Styrofoam containers, but could face significant opposition from small business owners — who will bear the higher cost of packaging alternatives — if it does.
Bloomberg, a billionaire, has drawn fire from some critics for his ban on the sale of sugary drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces.