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Bloomberg to propose ban on Styrofoam

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends a

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends a news conference where it was announced that free Wi-Fi will be provided by Google to the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea. (Jan. 8, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

First smoking. Then transfats and big sugary drinks. Now it is Styrofoam food packaging's turn to be added to the Public Enemy list of a health conscious City Hall.

In his state of the city address Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to propose doing away with Styrofoam packaging in all city stores and restaurants. As convenient as Styrofoam is for handling food and cups of coffee, Bloomberg says it is almost indestructible and could be hazardous to our health.

While "Styrofoam" is the trademark name of an insulation product, it is a term also used to describe expanded polystyrene foam used in food handling..

"After all, we can live without it. We may live longer without it. And the doggie bag will survive just fine," according to an advance copy of Bloomberg's remarks set to be delivered Wednesday at noon in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

In a statement issued Wednesday night, the American Chemical Council, a trade group, said it was prepared to work with the city on the issue and noted that technology exists to recycle polystyrene foam and is being used in California. The foam represents less than 1 percent of the nation's solid waste, the association said.

In a speech that promises to be laden with environmentally friendly policy plans, Bloomberg will also propose that a portion of new public parking spaces be outfitted to charge electric cars.

"We'll work with the City Council to amend the building code so that up to 20 percent of all new public parking spaces will be wired and ready for electric vehicles, creating 10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years," he is quoted as saying in the advance copy.

A City Hall source said the plan was to phase in about 10,000 charging stations in the parking locations over that period of time.

The city also plans to add 50 new battery cars to its municipal fleet, for use by the Department of Parks, Transportation, Sanitation, Education and other agencies, the source said.

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