Kavanagh and Krueger Closer to Limiting Styrofoam in New York State

June 9, 2009
On June 9, 2009, the Assembly passed a bill introduced by Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Liz Krueger (A00428/S02832) that would all but eliminate polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam) from use by State and local public agencies throughout New York and would enlist the State Department of Environmental Conservation to study the benefits of eliminating polystyrene for food services and other uses in the private sector as well. Polystyrene cups, plates, trays, and other items are used in a matter of minutes but remain in waterways and landfills for centuries. Moreover, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, polystyrene poses health risks, as it is classified as a suspected human carcinogen and neurotoxin. The bill would push public sector agencies and their contractors to replace polystyrene with recyclable or compostable alternatives. The bill, which has garnered over 20 Assembly cosponsors, was delivered to the Senate.