New York City – On Earth Day, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, State Senator Liz Krueger, and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh launched a statewide campaign to end government use of Styrofoam. The campaign kicked off with an early morning rally at a Manhattan public school featuring parents, students, and piles of Styrofoam trays and cups collected from schools and government buildings.
As part of this campaign, de Blasio, Krueger, and Kavanagh are recruiting elected representatives to sign the Stop Polystyrene And Revitalize the Environment (SPARE) Pledge, which calls on leaders in State and City Government to eliminate use of Styrofoam food service products in office operations and at their events. The SPARE Pledge will build momentum for a state and city legislation to eliminate government use of Styrofoam
“New York City and State government should be leading by example and ending their age old dependence on Styrofoam,” said Public advocate Bill de Blasio. “Everyday, our City’s schools alone discard 850,000 Styrofoam trays, doing tremendous damage to our environment. Hopefully by recruiting elected leaders to join our coalition and pushing legislation on the State and City levels we can make New York completely Styrofoam free.”
“I am proud to be a part of this coalition of City and State Leaders that have banded together to end the use of Styrofoam in our offices and at all of our events," said Senator Krueger. "There is no reason that anyone should continue using a product that is so toxic to our environment when there are more environmentally sound alternatives available. Today, in honor of Earth Day, I pledge to help build our coalition of local and state leaders who will lead the way in ending the use of Styrofoam.”
“New Yorkers have a right to expect that their government officials will make sensible, environmentally responsible choices when buying products with taxpayer funds, ” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “Unfortunately, the cups, plates, trays, and other food service items made of Styrofoam that we routinely see in the cafeterias of public hospitals, schools, and universities just don't meet this standard. A child might spend 5 minutes drinking from a Styrofoam cup before tossing it aside, but unfortunately that same cup might remain with us on this Earth 500 years from now. Today on Earth Day and in the coming year, let's finally agree to put an end to our misplaced reliance on Styrofoam.”
The SPARE campaign is providing support for City legislation that Public Advocate de Blasio will be introducing which would prohibit city agencies and reasonable sectors of the food industry from using Styrofoam and also for state legislation, S2832-A/A428-A (Krueger/Kavanagh), which will replace Styrofoam with recyclable and compostable products throughout government Statewide. The state legislation A428-A passed the Assembly on April 20th as part of the Earth Day package, and S2832-A is currently progressing in the Senate.