NEW YORK—Dart Container, the world’s largest manufacturer of foam cups, is dropping its opposition to a proposed ban on foam food-service containers that is currently before City Council.
The manufacturing giant said in a release that amendments made to the plastic foam bill, sponsored by Council Member Lewis Fidler, “represent a step in the right direction by city officials.”
The amendment came after months of lobbying City Council members by Dart Container representatives and the American Chemical Council through its Restaurant Action Alliance NYC.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg first mentioned a ban on foam food service containers in his State of the City speech in February. Bloomberg said foam increases the cost of recycling by as much as $20 per ton, because it has to be removed.
The revised bill before the Council will likely be voted on Dec. 19. The revised version of the bill allows a year for the city’s sanitation commissioner to determine whether foam is recyclable.
“We are suspending further opposition as we believe it is in the best interests of all parties that we turn our attention to successfully passing the recycling test,” Michael Westerfield, Dart Container’s director of recycling, said in a statement.
Dart had proposed to pay the city $160 a ton for used foam food-service containers. Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway said at a hearing last month that Dart’s proposal was not feasible because the company said any containers with food or grease would not be accepted.
“Throughout this process we have negotiated with the city in good faith and we thank Speaker Quinn and the members of the city’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management for making sensible changes to the proposed bill,” Westerfield, director of recycling at Dart, said.
Each year Americans throw away 25 million foam cups, which take 500 years or more to break down, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.