Ban on styrofoam food containers in New York City set to take effect Jan. 1

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city's ban on single-use styrofoam products will take effect January 1, 2019, after a judge dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the ban.

The ruling came Friday in state court in Manhattan, giving the city a victory in its battle with the restaurant industry over plastic foam containers.

Judge Margaret Chan denied an appeal by a restaurant lobbying group and manufacturers. They argued it was feasible to recycle the containers.

A spokesman for the city law department said the ruling clears the path toward implementing a ban on foam products.

Randy Mastro, attorney for the Restaurant Action Alliance of New York City and a coalition of industry leaders, says they're "deeply disappointed by this decision" and reviewing their legal options.

New York City has been trying to ban plastic foam containers since 2013.

The ban now means that food service establishments, stores, and manufacturers may not possess, sell, or offer for use single service Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam food service articles or loose fill packaging, such as "packing peanuts" in New York City beginning in 2019.

"New York City's ban on styrofoam is long overdue, and New Yorkers are ready to start using recyclable alternatives. There's no reason to continue allowing this environmentally unfriendly substance to flood our streets, landfills, and waterways," said e Blasio.

Over the next six months, the city says it will work with businesses to ensure they understand the law and help them transition to new materials to replace foam products.

Manufacturers and stores will not be able to sell or offer single-use foam items such as cups, plates, trays, or clamshell containers in the city.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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