Startups and longtime neighborhood staples have continuously shown their disapproval with a restaurant letter grade system that dishes out astronomical fines and window-posted ratings, often for deductions unrelated to food service and sanitation.
Until recently, restaurants in communities throughout Brooklyn and Queens have operated with minimal staff and found ways to squeeze by, however the newly proposed ban on polysterene packaging, or styrofoam, may be the final straw.
The bill, introduced by outgoing Councilman Lewis Fidler, would go into effect as soon as July 1, 2015, and place a ban on low-cost to-go containers and a number of containers which until now have been an affordable option for business owners.
According to an MB Public Affairs study titled the “Fiscal and Economic Impacts of a Ban on Plastic Foam Foodservice and Drink Containers in New York City,” businesses in the city would ultimately incur a 94 percent cost increase in order to cover the conversion to plastics and alternative material.
In other words, for every $1 spent on plastic foam foodservice and drink containers, alternative options would cost storeowners a minimum of $1.94.
A cost that would essentially double for struggling businesses is an issue the city needs to find a solution for. According to the study, which sites the Department of Sanitation, paper product replacements also cannot be recycled and would also end up in the waste system.
While, yes, this change would ensure a cleaner environment, there are other alternatives.
For the sake of our small businesses, recycling styrofoam must be an option that is on the table. Business owners need programs to help save money and thrive, and if there is a way to make that happen, their hard-earned tax dollars should go towards this research.