Mayor Bloomberg Defends Plastic Foam Proposal: ‘We’re Not Banning Everything’

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his proposed ban on plastic foam containers during his weekly radio show Friday.

A caller accused Bloomberg of “being on track to ban everything,” to which the mayor replied, “Come on. We’re not banning everything.”

Bloomberg added, “You can still buy cigarettes, we haven’t banned that!” He also clarified that it’s “really polystyrene that you’re banning” since Styrofoam is a brand name and that several places on the West Coast have already banned plastic foam.

Bloomberg’s defense came just a day after he outlined the details of a proposal that would put an end to the use of plastic foam packaging used for coffee cups and food containers. The proposal is part of a new recycling effort he hopes to put in place before he leaves office. Bloomberg said the use of plastic-foam is putting the environmental future of New York City at risk.

“Something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health, that is costing taxpayers money and that we can easily do without, and is something that should go the way of lead paint,” Bloomberg said. “We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag and the coffee cup will survive just fine.”

Bloomberg’s newest ban comes several months after New York City’s Board of Health approved a ban on beverages larger than 16 ounces. The ban applies to restaurants, delis, movie theaters, and sports stadiums. The ban, however, does not apply to grocery stores and does not include diet soda, alcohol, sports drinks, or drinks that are more than 70 percent fruit juice. Bloomberg received backlash over that ban too as critics accused him of turning the city into a “nanny state.” The mayor was also sued by the American Beverage Association over the ban, who claimed that he was overstepping his authority.

Do you support Bloomberg’s ban on plastic foam?

[Photo credit: lev radin/]