United States – New York City has passed a ban on food items packaged in polystyrene containers and a law requiring large food waste generators to compost that material. Both measures are scheduled to take effect in July 2015.
‘This legislation not only eliminates a product that cannot be recycled in New York City, it is a giant step forward in the city’s efforts to recycle organic waste,’ mayor Michael Bloomberg explains. ‘Foam pollutes the waste stream, making it harder to recycle food waste as well as metal, glass and plastic.’
The action will be ‘a shot of adrenaline to the growing biogas and compost industries which are ready, able and willing to manage organic wastes as a resource’, comments Patrick Serfass, executive director of the Washington-based American Biogas Council. ‘This new policy fulfils a fundamental need for biogas and composting project development: a predictable and reliable source of organic feedstocks.’
However, not everyone is happy about the ban. For instance, over recent months hundreds of restaurant owners in the Big Apple have opposed the measure, mainly on financial grounds. They point to a recent study finding that for every dollar spent on polystyrene products, restaurants will be forced to spend at least US$ 1.94 (Euro 1.42) on replacements. In addition, they say, replacement materials may fail to insulate as well as the containers they use now.
Source: Waste 360