Relates to food service waste reduction; prohibits the use of polystyrene foam by contractors and lessees who deal with the state through state and municipal contracts.
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 Styrofoam food service ware by any person or entity that has a contract with an agency or municipality, and to study the feasibility of a Styrofoam ban in New York State.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Requires that any state department, agency, board, public benefit corporation, public authority, commission, municipality, and their contractors and lessees use disposable 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.
Requires the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a study on the desirability, feasibility and environmental impact of a statewide ban on the use of disposable styrofoam food service ware.
EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: This bill would add a new title 28 to Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
JUSTIFICATION: Styrofoam is a liquid hydrocarbon that is commercially manufactured from petroleum, a quickly disappearing commodity. Each year Americans throwaway 25,000,000 styrofoam cups, or 1,369 tons of Styrofoam products every day. A single Styrofoam cup can take up to 500 years to fully disintegrate.
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. Due to the physical properties of Styrofoam, the United States Environmental Protection Agency states "that such materials can have serious impact on human health, wildlife, and the aquatic environment," because the product breaks down and can clog waterways, or to be mistaken for food by wildlife.
One of the components of Styrofoam, styrene is a known hazardous substance which is a suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin. Many people do not realize that when they re-heat food in a Styrofoam product using a microwave, toxins may be released into their food.
This bill would address the environmental impacts of Styrofoam while allowing for exceptions in cases where there is no viable alternative product of comparable cost.
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: Minimal.
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.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3419 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 1, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. KRUEGER, SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to food service waste reduction THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "food service waste reduction act". S 2. Article 27 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new title 28 to read as follows: TITLE 28 FOOD SERVICE WASTE REDUCTION SECTION 27-2801. DEFINITIONS. 27-2803. REQUIRED COMPOSTABLE OR RECYCLABLE DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE WARE. 27-2805. POWERS OF MUNICIPALITIES. S 27-2801. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: 1. "AFFORDABLE" MEANS PURCHASABLE FOR NOT MORE THAN FIFTEEN PERCENT MORE THAN THE PURCHASE COST OF THE NON-COMPOSTABLE OR NON-RECYCLABLE ALTERNATIVE. 2. "AGENCY" MEANS ANY STATE DEPARTMENT, AGENCY, BOARD, PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION, PUBLIC AUTHORITY, OR COMMISSION. 3. "COMPOSTABLE" MEANS ALL THE MATERIALS IN THE PRODUCT OR PACKAGE WILL (A) UNDERGO DEGRADATION BY BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES DURING COMPOSTING TO YIELD CARBON DIOXIDE, WATER, INORGANIC COMPOUNDS, AND BIOMASS AT A RATE CONSISTENT WITH OTHER KNOWN COMPOSTABLE MATERIALS AND (B) LEAVE NO VISIBLE, DISTINGUISHABLE OR TOXIC RESIDUE, INCLUDING NO ADVERSE IMPACTEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01237-01-3 S. 3419 2
ON THE ABILITY OF COMPOSTS TO SUPPORT PLANT GROWTH ONCE THE FINISHED COMPOST IS PLACED IN SOIL. 4. "CONTRACTORS AND LESSEES" MEAN ANY PERSON OR ENTITY THAT HAS A CONTRACT WITH AN AGENCY OR A MUNICIPALITY FOR PUBLIC WORKS OR IMPROVE- MENTS TO BE PERFORMED, FOR A FRANCHISE, CONCESSION OR LEASE OF PROPERTY, FOR GRANT MONIES OR GOODS AND SERVICES OR SUPPLIES TO BE PURCHASED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AGENCY OR MUNICIPALITY OR TO BE PAID OUT OF MONIES DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OR OUT OF TRUST MONIES UNDER THE CONTROL OR COLLECTED BY THE AGENCY OR MUNICIPALITY. 5. "DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE WARE" MEANS ALL CONTAINERS, BOWLS, PLATES, TRAYS, CARTONS, CUPS, LIDS, STRAWS, FORKS, SPOONS, KNIVES, NAPKINS AND OTHER ITEMS THAT ARE DESIGNED FOR ONE-TIME USE FOR PREPARED FOODS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, SERVICE WARE FOR TAKEOUT FOODS AND/OR LEFTOVERS FROM PARTIALLY CONSUMED MEALS PREPARED BY FOOD VENDORS. THE TERM "DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE WARE" DOES NOT INCLUDE ITEMS COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF ALUMINUM OR POLYSTYRENE FOAM COOLERS AND ICE CHESTS THAT ARE INTENDED FOR REUSE NOR DOES THIS TERM INCLUDE RECYCLABLE FOOD SERVICE WARE. 6. "MUNICIPALITY" MEANS A VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, OR COUNTY, OR ANY DESIGNATED AGENCY THEREOF. 7. "POLYSTYRENE FOAM" MEANS BLOWN POLYSTYRENE AND EXPANDED AND EXTRUD- ED FOAMS (SOMETIMES CALLED STYROFOAM TM) WHICH ARE THERMOPLASTIC PETRO- CHEMICAL MATERIALS UTILIZING A STYRENE MONOMER AND PROCESSED BY ANY NUMBER OF TECHNIQUES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, FUSION OF POLYMER SPHERES (EXPANDABLE BEAD POLYSTYRENE), INJECTION MOLDING, FOAM MOLDING, AND EXTRUSION-BLOWN MOLDING (EXTRUDED FOAM POLYSTYRENE). POLYSTYRENE FOAM IS GENERALLY USED TO MAKE CUPS, BOWLS, PLATES, TRAYS, CLAMSHELL CONTAINERS, MEAT TRAYS AND EGG CARTONS. 8. "RECYCLABLE" MEANS MATERIAL THAT CAN BE SORTED, CLEANSED AND RECON- STITUTED USING AVAILABLE RECYCLING COLLECTION PROGRAMS FOR THE PURPOSE OF USING THE ALTERED FORM IN THE MANUFACTURE OF A NEW PRODUCT. RECYCLING DOES NOT INCLUDE BURNING, INCINERATING, CONVERTING, OR OTHERWISE THER- MALLY DESTROYING SOLID WASTE. S 27-2803. REQUIRED COMPOSTABLE OR RECYCLABLE DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE WARE. AGENCIES, MUNICIPALITIES, AND THEIR CONTRACTORS AND LESSEES SHALL USE DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE WARE MADE FROM MATERIAL, OTHER THAN POLYSTYRENE FOAM, THAT IS COMPOSTABLE OR RECYCLABLE UNLESS THERE IS NO AFFORDABLE COMPOSTABLE OR RECYCLABLE PRODUCT AVAILABLE. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO GOVERN THE ACTIVITIES OF CONTRACTORS AND LESSEES THAT OCCUR OUTSIDE OF THE STATE OR ACTIVITIES OF CONTRACTORS OF LESSEES THAT OCCUR WITH ENTITIES OTHER THAN AGENCIES OR MUNICIPALITIES. S 27-2805. POWERS OF MUNICIPALITIES. ANY AGENCY OR MUNICIPALITY MAY PROMULGATE REGULATIONS, ORDINANCES, OR LAWS TO TAKE ANY AND ALL REASONABLE ACTIONS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT AND ENFORCE THIS TITLE. S 3. The department of environmental conservation shall conduct a study on the desirability, feasibility and environmental impact of a statewide prohibition on the use of disposable food service ware that contains polystyrene foam. The department shall issue a report contain- ing the results of the study to the legislature no later than the thir- ty-first of January next succeeding the date on which this act shall have become a law. S 4. 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.