NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – The push to ban polystyrene foam — call it Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s final act.
Others like food cart vendor John Satar are wondering why. “I’ve been doing this job for the past 10 years and I haven’t heard any complaint about it,” said Satar who works on 116th and Broadway.
Satar is a small business owner who is not a big fan of the Mayor’s initiative, “The thing is I’m worried about the people, the hard-working people they can’t afford it.”
This proposed measure is nothing new elsewhere. It’s been established in several cities in California, including San Francisco.
Even in New York City there are some delis like Delmonico on 41st Street and Lexington Avenue that took action on its own to implement plastics for its clientele. “Customers in general, they do not like to use Styrofoam anymore, they have that caution about ‘oh Styrofoam could be bad for you’ and things like that, ” said Ramy Zawara, General Manager of the popular deli.
Zawara says they’ve been pro-plastic now for approximately three years, “even though it’s like almost four times the price.”
At City Hall on Monday afternoon, polystyrene foam opponents and proponents showed up before the City Council hearing. This is a battle that may take a little time, which is something Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t have much of.
This said, what does Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio think about the potential of the ban? PIX 11 News asked him this very question Monday afternoon and although he doesn’t agree with Mayor Bloomberg on many things, he was behind Bloomberg’s initiative, “I think the Mayor is right.”
Mayor-elect de Blasio who minutes earlier spoke just yards away from recycle bins on the Columbia campus says the city can make alternative packaging more common as well as more affordable, “As everyone knows, this is not biodegradable, this is a petroleum-based product that really causes environmental harm, and we have better options and better alternatives, and those alternatives will become more plentiful and available and cheaper if cities like New York start turning away from traditional Styrofoam.”