Rensselaer County Legislature urges NY to ban Styrofoam food and drink containers

September 10, 2019 11:58 PM

Tuesday night the Rensselaer County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution that urges New York State to ban polystyrene foam for use of food and drink containers.

Originally the resolution had just said “ban the use of polystyrene foam.” However, a legislator said that was too broad and an amendment was made.

“When you talk about the global issues of pollution, Styrofoam hits all the nails on the head,” said Minority Leader Peter Grimm. “It’s a health concern, it’s also a landfill concern, and it’s also a production concern.”

Grimm said they introduced this resolution instead of a ban on polystyrene in Rensselaer County because he said the state is currently working on its own legislation.

“It’s kind of hand in hand with the state’s, it’s a larger band width,” said Grimm.

Grimm said when it comes to health concerns, Styrofoam contains carcinogens that are released when it comes in contact with hot liquids or foods. There have also long been environmental concerns.

“It also doesn't break down so environmentally it's going to be in landfills forever, so it's time,” said Grimm

There has been concern over the cost for small businesses who have to switch from Styrofoam food containers to eco-friendly ones. Many businesses across the county have already made the switch and Grimm said it’s time the others do too.

“There are inconveniences always,” said Grimm. “To protecting our environment, protecting the lives of our residents, this is an issue that is a no-brainer. It’s time for everyone to step up to the plate.”


Emily De Vito

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