Styrofoam ban considered in New York City council

June 12, 2013 3:53:43 PM PDT
New York City restaurant owners are speaking out against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on plastic foam cups and food containers.

In the last few years recycling in New York City has been a major disappointment. We just don't' recycle like a lot of other places.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to make the city greener, so he now wants to ban all Styrofoam. That's because it basically doesn't break down in a landfill. It is a major environmental problem.

Bloomberg proposed the plastic foam ban in his State of the City speech in February. He said the containers are "virtually impossible to recycle."

But restaurant, bodega and food cart owners love Styrofoam because it's cheap. It costs 7 or 8 cents a container instead of about 15 cents for paper.

"And by creating this ban, it's going to raise the price on our food, which in return could mean disaster," Johnny Falcones, a restaurant owner, said.

Opponents rallied on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday before a City Council meeting where the ban was to be introduced.

Restaurant owners call the ban a disaster because higher prices could lead to fewer customers. That would hurt small restaurants across the city.

"I've heard the mayor and everyone say that small business is the backbone of our city. Let's not hurt the backbone, because we won't be able to stand up straight," City Councilman Robert Jackson said.

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. suggested recycling the containers instead.