State and City Leaders Launch Campaign to End Government Use of Styrofoam

For Immediate Release | April 22, 2010

Katie Kincaid | | 646-784-0485

(New York, NY) – Today, in honor of Earth Day, State Senator Liz Krueger, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh launched a Statewide campaign to end government use of Styrofoam. The campaign kicked off with an early morning rally at Earth School, a Manhattan public school, and featured teachers, parents and students, all committed to ending the use of Styrofoam

In an effort to bolster the campaign, Krueger, de Blasio and Kavanagh are recruiting other elected officials to sign the Stop Polystyrene And Revitalize the Environment (SPARE) Pledge. The SPARE Pledge calls for the elimination of Styrofoam food service products in government office operations and events. By building the SPARE Pledge coalition, the group, and cause, will build momentum geared towards State and City legislation to eliminate government use of Styrofoam.

“I am proud to be a part of this alliance of City and State leaders who have banded together to end the use of Styrofoam in our offices and at all of our events," said Senator Krueger. "There is no reason why anyone should continue using a product so toxic to our environment when there are environmentally-sound alternatives available. Today, in honor of Earth Day, I pledge to help build our coalition of local and State leaders who will lead the way in ending the use of Styrofoam.”

“New York City and State government should be leading by example and ending their age old dependence on Styrofoam,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “Every day, our City’s schools alone discard 850,000 Styrofoam trays, doing tremendous damage to our environment. Hopefully by recruiting elected leaders to join our coalition and pushing legislation on the State and City levels we can make New York completely Styrofoam free.”

“New Yorkers have a right to expect that their government officials will make sensible, environmentally responsible choices when buying products with taxpayer funds,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “Unfortunately, the cups, plates, trays, and other food service items made of Styrofoam that we routinely see in the cafeterias of public hospitals, schools, and universities just don't meet this standard. A child might spend 5 minutes drinking from a Styrofoam cup before tossing it aside, but unfortunately that same cup might remain with us on this Earth 500 years from now. Today on Earth Day and in the coming year, let's finally agree to put an end to our misplaced reliance on Styrofoam.”

The SPARE campaign will provide support for State legislation, S2832-A/A428-A (Krueger/Kavanagh), which will replace Styrofoam with recyclable and compostable products throughout government Statewide. Already, A428-A passed the Assembly on April 20th as part of the Earth Day package, and S2832-A is currently progressing in the Senate.