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A09692 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A9692
 
SPONSOR: Rozic (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to food service waste reduction   PURPOSE: The purpose of the bill is to discourage the use of disposable polystyr- ene foam food service ware by any person or entity that has a contract with an agency or municipality, and to study the feasibility of a polys- tyrene foam ban in New York State   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill establishes the short title of the legislation as the "food service waste reduction act." Section 2 of the bill amends article 27 of the environmental conserva- tion law by adding a new title 28 which would require that any state department, agency, board, public benefit corporation, public authority, commission, municipality, and their contractors and lessees use food service ware made from material other than polystyrene foam, unless there is no compostable or recyclable alternative available at a price not more than 15 percent higher. Section 3 of the bill requires the Department of Environmental Conserva- tion to conduct a study on the desirability, feasibility and environ- mental impact of a statewide ban on the use of disposable Styrofoam food service ware. Section 4 of the bill establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Styrofoam is a liquid hydrocarbon that is commercially manufactured from petroleum, a quickly disappearing commodity. Each year Americans throw away 25,000,000 polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) cups, or 1,369 tons of foam products every day. A single Styrofoam cup can take up to 500 years to fully disintegrate. Polystyrene foam 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. Due to the physical properties of foam, the United States Environmental Protection Agency states "that such materials can have serious impact on human health, wildlife, and the aquatic environ- ment," because the product breaks down and can clog waterways, or to be mistaken for food by wildlife. One of the components of foam, styrene is a known hazardous substance which is a suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin. Many people do not real- ize that when they re-heat food in a Styrofoam product using a micro- wave, toxins may be released into their food. In December 2013, New York City enacted a law banning the use or sale of disposable Styrofoam food service ware and loose fill packaging (common- ly known as packing peanuts), by certain stores and food service estab- lishments, which took effect in January 2015, but was subsequently struck down by a court that found the City did not have the authority to enact the ban. This bill would address the environmental impacts of foam while allowing for exceptions in cases where there is no viable alternative product of comparable cost.   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: Minimal.   FISCAL IMPACT ON LOCALITIES: Minimal.   IMPACT ON REGULATION OF BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS: None.   IMPACT ON FINES, IMPRISONMENT, FORFEITURE OF RIGHTS, OR OTHER PENAL SANCTIONS: None.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017: A01013 (Kavanagh) - On the Floor 2016: A05743 (Kavanagh) - Environmental Conservation 2015: A05743 (Kavanagh) - On the Floor 2014: A04973A (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2013: A04973A (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2012: A02097 (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2011: A02097 (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2010: A00428A (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2009: A00428 (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2008: A11466A (Kavanagh) - Rules   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that sections one and two of this act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.
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