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
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
Section 4 of the bill establishes the effective date.
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
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE:
FISCAL IMPACT ON LOCALITIES:
IMPACT ON REGULATION OF BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS:
IMPACT ON FINES, IMPRISONMENT, FORFEITURE OF RIGHTS, OR OTHER PENAL
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
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
February 2, 2018
Introduced by M. of A. ROZIC, PAULIN, TITONE, LUPARDO, COLTON, ENGLE-
BRIGHT, GALEF, L. ROSENTHAL, OTIS, ABINANTI, FAHY, SEPULVEDA, STIRPE
-- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. COOK, DINOWITZ, GLICK, HOOPER,
PERRY, THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environ-
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:
1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
2 the "food service waste reduction act".
3 § 2. Article 27 of the environmental conservation law is amended by
4 adding a new title 28 to read as follows:
5 TITLE 28
6 FOOD SERVICE WASTE REDUCTION
7 Section 27-2801. Definitions.
8 27-2803. Required compostable or recyclable disposable food
9 service ware.
10 27-2805. Powers of municipalities.
11 § 27-2801. Definitions.
12 For the purposes of this title, the following terms shall have the
13 following meanings:
14 1. "Affordable" means purchasable for not more than fifteen percent
15 more than the purchase cost of the non-compostable or non-recyclable
17 2. "Agency" means any state department, agency, board, public benefit
18 corporation, public authority, or commission.
19 3. "Compostable" means all the materials in the product or package
20 will (a) undergo degradation by biological processes during composting
21 to yield carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a
22 rate consistent with other known compostable materials and (b) leave no
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 9692 2
1 visible, distinguishable or toxic residue, including no adverse impact
2 on the ability of composts to support plant growth once the finished
3 compost is placed in soil.
4 4. "Contractors and lessees" mean any person or entity that has a
5 contract with an agency or a municipality for public works or improve-
6 ments to be performed, for a franchise, concession or lease of property,
7 for grant monies or goods and services or supplies to be purchased at
8 the expense of the agency or municipality or to be paid out of monies
9 deposited in the treasury or out of trust monies under the control or
10 collected by the agency or municipality.
11 5. "Disposable food service ware" means all containers, bowls, plates,
12 trays, cartons, cups, lids, straws, forks, spoons, knives, napkins and
13 other items that are designed for one-time use for prepared foods,
14 including without limitation, service ware for takeout foods and/or
15 leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared by food vendors. The
16 term "disposable food service ware" does not include items composed
17 entirely of aluminum or polystyrene foam coolers and ice chests that are
18 intended for reuse nor does this term include recyclable food service
20 6. "Municipality" means a village, town, city, or county, or any
21 designated agency thereof.
22 7. "Polystyrene foam" means blown polystyrene and expanded foams
23 utilizing a styrene monomer and processed by any number of techniques.
24 Polystyrene foam is generally used to make cups, bowls, plates, trays,
25 clamshell containers, meat trays and egg cartons.
26 8. "Recyclable" means material that can be sorted, cleansed and recon-
27 stituted using available recycling collection programs for the purpose
28 of using the altered form in the manufacture of a new product. Recycling
29 does not include burning, incinerating, converting, or otherwise ther-
30 mally destroying solid waste.
31 § 27-2803. Required compostable or recyclable disposable food service
33 Agencies, municipalities, and their contractors and lessees shall use
34 disposable food service ware made from material, other than polystyrene
35 foam, that is compostable or recyclable unless there is no affordable
36 compostable or recyclable product available. Nothing in this section
37 shall be construed to govern the activities of contractors and lessees
38 that occur outside of the state or activities of contractors of lessees
39 that occur with entities other than agencies or municipalities.
40 § 27-2805. Powers of municipalities.
41 Any agency or municipality may promulgate regulations, ordinances, or
42 laws to take any and all reasonable actions necessary to implement and
43 enforce this title.
44 § 3. The department of environmental conservation shall conduct a
45 study on the desirability, feasibility and environmental impact of a
46 statewide prohibition on the use of disposable food service ware that
47 contains polystyrene foam. The department shall issue a report contain-
48 ing the results of the study to the legislature no later than the thir-
49 ty-first of January next succeeding the date on which this act shall
50 have become a law.
51 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
52 sections one and two of this act shall take effect on the one hundred
53 twentieth day after it shall have become a law.