Future of NYC foam food containers up for debate

AP News
Posted: Nov 25, 2013 7:58 PM
Future of NYC foam food containers up for debate

NEW YORK (AP) — A potential ban on plastic foam food containers in a city that thrives on takeout proved a piping-hot topic among New York City lawmakers debating the material's pros, cons and prospects for recycling.

The City Council's sanitation committee held a hearing Monday on proposals to ban the containers or explore recycling them.

Street vendors and eateries prize lightweight, heat-keeping plastic foam cups, plates and to-go cartons. But they take a long time to break down in landfills.

San Francisco and several other cities have banned such containers.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has suggested doing the same in the nation's biggest city. New Yorkers throw out about 23,000 tons of foam per year.

Restaurateurs say alternatives to plastic foam are more expensive and less effective at insulating food.