Picture styrofoam, and you picture a product produced from petroleum that takes up to 500 years to fully disintegrate. S6402, a NYS bill to ban styrofoam statewide in the food service industry, will help our state clean up our waste stream and become more environmentally sustainable. Each year Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam cups, or 1,369 tons of styrofoam products every day. The NYC school system alone throws away 150 million styrofoam meal trays annually. There are a number of reasons to ban styrofoam: 1) Styrofoam is a notorious pollutant that is very difficult to recycle due to its light weight and low scrap value. It is generally not accepted in curbside programs, is seldom able to be reused, takes up a considerable amount of space in landfills, and takes a very long time to fully decompose; 2) Due to the physical properties of polystyrene, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that "such materials can have serious impacts on human health, wildlife, and the aquatic environment" because the product breaks down and can clog waterways, or be mistaken for food by wildlife; 3) One of styrofoam\'s components, styrene, is a known hazardous substance suspected to be a carcinogen and neurotoxin. Many people do not realize that when they re-heat food in a styrofoam product, toxins are released into their food; 4) AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVES EXIST. The bioplastic industry is reaching new heights. Corn and sugar-cane based plastics have proven highly durable (even more durable than styrofoam in many cases) and biodegrade in 45-60 days; 5) In 500 years, it is unlikely any of us will be the cups we drank our coffee out of this morning shouldn\'t be either. Please sign and pass along to friends and family.


State Senator Liz Krueger



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