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Budget, Education & City Services

Manhattan Borough Board Resolution in support of the Polystyrene ban

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, July 11, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 37 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, "Styrofoam" (polystyrene) is not biodegradable and takes an estimated 500 years to break down when discarded in landfills; and

WHEREAS, New York City discards approximately 20,000 tons of Styrofoam annually, including an estimated 150 million styrofoam meal trays in the NYC school system alone; and

WHEREAS, phasing out 20,000 tons of styrofoam from the municipal waste stream would save taxpayers an estimated $1.9 million each year based on current rates; and

WHEREAS, the State of California has identified the production of polystyrene (styrofoam) as creating more energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and total environmental impact than all other products except for aluminum; and

WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency has identified styrofoam production as the 5th largest creator of toxic waste in the United States; and

WHEREAS, styrene is a component of styrofoam and is largely believed to be a carcinogen and neurotoxin; and

WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency has never tested a human fat tissue without finding styrene in that fat tissue since 1986; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports legislation that would prohibit the use and sale of polystyrene products as food packing in New York City.

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