Friday, February 15, 2013


During his final State Of The City address, today NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg will call for a ban on the usage of polystyrene (styrofoam) containers by restaurants, food carts, vending machines, or any business that holds a city license to sell beverages or meals.

I hope he and all the news outlets, that will be reporting on this story, will include the costs and benefits. It took me about five minutes on Google to get the following information. The costs of the packaging and related recycling information all comes from one packaging distributer. The additional cost per container looks to be about $0.25.

Considering the cost to the environment and personal health risks, I see this as not only worth and extra $0.25 a meal but also an initiative worthily of a subsidiary (not the full cost, just partial ) for the first 2-3 years.


  • Polystyrene is made from petroleum, a non-sustainable, non-renewable, heavily polluting and fast-disappearing commodity.
  • The environmental impacts of polystyrene production in the categories of energy consumption, greenhouse gas effect, and total environmental effect ranks second highest, behind aluminum.1
  • Polystyrene is a principle component of urban litter and marine debris. It is detrimental to wildlife that ingests it.
  • Polystyrene contains the toxic substances Styrene and Benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are hazardous to humans.
  • Polystyrene food containers leach the toxin Styrene when they come into contact with warm food or drink, alcohol, oils and acidic foods causing human contamination and posing a health risk to people.
  • Over 100 US and Canadian, as well as some European and Asian cities, have banned polystyrene food packaging as a result of the negative impacts to humans and the environment.


These bagasse hinged clamshells are made from an annually-renewable resource, sugarcane. With a similar look and feel to paper, our bagasse clamshells will completely compost under commercial composting conditions in just 45-60 days.

Bagasse clamshells are great for hot and cold foods. They won’t soak up grease and liquids, so they’re perfect for burgers, fries and other to-go food. Microwave safe, bagasse is the newest trend in food service packaging. Your food comes from nature and now so does its packaging!

9 x 9 x 3 Bagasse Hinged Clamshell
Case Count: 200
Case Weight: 21 lbs
Outside Dimension: 9 x 9
Inside Dimension: 8 x 8
Depth: 3    
$86.63 carton 

$0.433 each

These PLA rectangular containers are made from 100% U.S. grown corn. With the same look and feel as clear plastic deli containers, our PLA containers will completely compost under commercial composting conditions in just 45-60 days.
Made from corn, an annually renewable resource, NatureWorks PLA is a plastic-like resin that is fully biodegradable. NatureWorks has a heat tolerance of up to 130 degrees (F). These are great for salads, deli items and other cold foods.

32 oz PLA Rectangular Container
Case Count: 200
Case Weight: 19.0 lbs
Lid: Comes with Flat Lids
Heat Tolerance: 130 degrees(F)
Dimension: 7-1/2 x 6-1/2 x 3    
$82.01 carton

$0.41 each 

$0.18 each for almost all sizes

Tin base, recyclable
$0.25 each for most sizes

Foil/Cardboard Lids, not recyclable
$0.08 each for all sizes

Plastic Domes, not recyclable
$0.10 each for all sizes

Cost per meal approx. $0.35 

Premium Re-Usable To Go Containers

• Versatainer® containers go from refrigerator to microwave.
• Dishwasher safe.
• Withstands microwave temperatures up to 250°F
• Leak resistant, stackable and reusable
• Black bases packed with cover
  9x9x3 $1.05 each, includes lids


  1. I agree and would gladly pay the inevitable pass-along of increased cost of packaging, but wouldn't the incentive gimme be double-dipping for the retailers at the taxpayer's expense? Hmmm.

  2. Daddie - the incentive would be to keep the increase down. If they reimburse the retailers $0.15 per then that savings is reflected in the increase in price.

  3. The compostible bags that Sun Chips came out with a couple years ago were taken off the market because... get ready for it...

    They were too noisy!


  4. whkatt - I know! I sent a protest email to them. They still use them in Canada.


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