New York City’s ban on single-use Styrofoam goods might be short-lived after a Manhattan judge ruled against the ban on foam packing and containers that went into effect in July on Tuesday.
The law, which was one of the last bills passed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was challenged earlier this year by a group of foam goods advocates who argued the city never gave them a fair shake to prove polystyrene foam is recyclable.
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Michael Westerfield of Dart Container Corporation, which produces foam products and helped arrange a recycling pilot program last year, said that the offer to set up the program stands.
“The victory here is for the environment and for recycling,” Westerfield said in a statement. “We are eager to work with the city to get recycling started as soon as possible.”
In the decision, New York Supreme Court Judge Margaret Chan argued that the the city’s argument that there was no market for dirty food containers was flawed, and that interest for recycling the goods will only grow.
However, the city is not budging on its opposition to foam goods. A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said the administration disagrees with the ruling.
“These products cause real environmental harm, and we need to be able to prevent nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from entering our landfills, streets, and waterways,” Ishanee Parikh said in a statement. “We are reviewing our options to keep the ban in effect.”
It’s unclear if the Jan. 2016 deadline for business around the city to get rid of foam products will stand.
The de Blasio administration took up Bloomberg’s cause to ban foam products soon after taking over City Hall. At the time, New York became the largest city to ban expanded polystyrene foam.
When the mayor announced the ban in January, his office argued that the company Dart secured to recycle foam products at no cost to the city was only for a five-year commitment.