Foam: Ban it — or Recycle it?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Foam figure made by supporters of the ban on foam cups and take-containers. (Sarah Gonzalez/WNYC)

Two foam monsters made out of dirty cups and take-out containers towered 20 feet high on the steps of City Hall as schoolchildren urged council members to pass a bill to ban foam plates and cups, because they are not biodegradable.

Instead, those foam objects sit in landfills for 500 years, says New York City Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway.

But the foam manufacturers and lobbyists who oppose the ban are pushing for program which would instead require foam products in the city to be recycled – not just cups and take-out containers, but the block-like foam that comes when you purchase a television.

Reporter Sarah Gonzalez spoke with Host Amy Eddings about the challenges of recycling foam in New York City, and the cost to businesses and consumers if the foam ban passes. 

(Sarah Gonzalez/WNYC)


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Comments [1]


Unfortunately what's missing from this discussion are several inconvenient truths.

I consider myself environmentally conscious, but it's time to wake up and smell the coffee - in a foam cup.

Foam works much better than paper. Foam cups don't impart a taste to the drink, paper does, foam is insulated and keeps the drink hot much longer, paper isn't insulated and the drink gets cold fast - and sorry to spill the beans - but if you forget about your foam hot drinks - nothing happens. If you forget about it, eventually the paper dissolves leaks - creating a huge mess.

Another benefit, is that if you use a foam cup, you can rinse it out and reuse it all day. If you buy a hot drink in a paper cup, the cup is instant trash.

and as to the reusable stainless steel travel mugs - in a car crash they are a projectile missile. Foam is not.

Nov. 25 2013 09:17 PM

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