The styrofoam cup ban in Westchester County is now law. The crunchy vessel that holds coffee and Chinese take out is no more. Westchester County Legislator Kitley Covell wrote the following:
Kitley Covill, Westchester County Legislator"
"I’m proud to say that on Monday night the Board of Legislators voted unanimously for a bill I sponsored which regulates the sale and use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) containers for takeout food and restaurant leftovers in Westchester County.Americans throw out billions of tons of EPS coffee cups and other food containers every year. This material doesn’t biodegrade, so it clogs landfills for decades or more. Once it is used for food, it is difficult to recycle economically. And when it breaks up into smaller pieces, it drifts off into our waterways, where it’s often eaten by marine life mistaking it for food.Our new law eliminates the sale or use of EPS for takeout food containers and food service ware by vendors and restaurants, or sold in stores. The measure also prohibits the sale of loose-fill EPS packing foam in Westchester. Prepackaged food that arrives sealed in EPS package, packaging for raw eggs, and butcher case packaging are exempted. The law takes effect in six months, giving restaurants and businesses time to use up any current supply.With this common-sense, bi-partisan legislation, Westchester will join its neighbors in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and in New York City, in acting to reduce this troubling source of pollution==================================================But despite the good intentions of environmentalists, small businesses may feel the brunt of the law. The cost to switch from styrofoam containers to a more acceptable standard will be passed on to consumers.NYC, which has a similar ban gives businesses with revenue less than $500k the option of applying for a hardship waiver. It is not known atthis time if Westchester offers the same.
Alternative packaging options include aluminum, rigid plastics, uncoated paper, glass, and compostable items.
Small businesses with less than $500,000 in gross income for the most recent tax year and nonprofits may apply for hardship exemptions from the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) if they can prove that the purchase of alternative products not composed of EPS would create a financial hardship. SBS is currently accepting applications for polystyrene foam hardship waivers.
To access the application, visit www.nyc.gov/foamwaiver.