Senator Nozzolio Calls on the New York City Council to Stop Polystyrene Ban

 

    A proposed ban on polystyrene foam food service containers would have a devastating impact on businesses in the Finger Lakes region, including Pactiv, which employs over 800 workers at their Canandaigua facility.

    The ban is supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilman Lewis Fidler. The New York City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management recently held a hearing regarding banning polystyrene food service containers.

    “The proposed polystyrene ban in New York City would have an immediate and dire effect on job-producing businesses in the Finger Lakes region and across Upstate New York that supply New York City restaurants and food service establishments with these containers,” said New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio. “This ban will destroy jobs and do nothing to reduce waste. I urge the Mayor and the City Council to explore the option of recycling instead of a ban.”

    According to a study conducted by the research firm MB Public Affairs, there are over 1,200 polystyrene manufacturing jobs in New York State. All of these jobs would be in serious jeopardy if New York City banned this material. That represents $54 million in lost wages alone, and an even greater impact on the businesses that use these food service containers.

    “Reducing waste and increasing recycling are important goals, but the truth is, this ban will not accomplish those objectives, and will harm many hardworking people - right here in the Finger Lakes region. This ban would hurt businesses and consumers in New York City and destroy hundreds of manufacturing jobs in our community. Instead of banning polystyrene foam, an effort should be made to establish a comprehensive recycling program,” said Senator Mike Nozzolio.

    Earlier this year, Senator Mike Nozzolio joined with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb to urge the defeat of this proposed ban.


    Enclosed is Senator Mike Nozzolio’s recent letter to Letitia James, Chairwoman of the New York City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management in opposition to this proposed regulation.

     

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    December 2013

    Dear Councilwomen James: 

    As the New York State Senator representing the 54th Senate District, it has come to my attention that the New York City Sanitation Committee recently held a hearing regarding a proposed ban on polystyrene foam foodservice containers. If enacted, this ban would have a devastating impact on businesses in both New York City and throughout our entire State.

    Because of its light weight and low price, most polystyrene is manufactured in close proximity to its final market.  New York State is home to several companies that manufacture these items, one of which is in my district. A ban in New York City would have an immediate and dire effect on these in-state businesses that supply New York City restaurants and food service establishments with these containers.  

    According to a study conducted by research firm MB Public Affairs, there are over 1,200 polystyrene manufacturing jobs in New York State. All of these jobs would be in serious jeopardy if New York City banned this material. That represents $54 million in lost wages alone, and an even greater impact on the business that use these foodservice containers.

    As the New York State economy continues to recover, this ban would not only harm businesses and consumers in your own backyard – it will also destroy hundreds of jobs in mine.

    Reducing waste and increasing recycling are laudable goals, but the truth is, this ban will not accomplish those objectives, and will harm a great many hard-working New Yorkers. Paper products coated with plastic, which are the most common alternative to polystyrene foam, cannot be recycled according to the City of New York Department of Sanitation’s own website.

    Instead of banning polystyrene foam, an effort should be made to establish a recycling program. Similar programs already exist in 65 cities across the country – including Los Angeles. I am respectfully requesting that you consider exploring the possibility of recycling this foam as an alternative to an outright ban.

    Thank you for your review and consideration of this very important matter.

    With best wishes.

    Sincerely,

    Mike Nozzolio

    Michael F. Nozzolio,

     Senator, 54th District