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Feb. 18, 2013

New York City’s Got Green Game

Diana Mosher, Editorial Director MHN

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stirred controversy when he proposed banning large sugary beverages in an effort to fight the obesity epidemic. If enacted, this ban would be the first in the country.

Now, in his final State of the City address, he has raised some eyebrows by proposing a ban on styrofoam food packaging. Not sure why this would surprise any constituents, since we already know the material isn’t biodegradable, and as the mayor’s office reminds us, plastic foam packaging makes up an estimated 20,000 tons of the city’s annual waste. The ban would require approval by the City Council.

While some New Yorkers think the mayor is out of line for legislating behavior, this ani-styrofoam initiative sounds like a no brainer especially since other cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, OR. and Seattle) have already made it happen.

During his last State of the City address, the mayor also shared some other ambitious ideas like wiring one-fifth of all new city parking spaces for electric cars, which would create 10,000 spots over the next seven years. And a new recycling plant scheduled to open this spring will enable New Yorkers to recycle more types of plastic such as yogurt cups and takeout containers.

New York City has really been trying to reduce its carbon footprint, and hopefully the next mayor will continue these initiatives. New York hasn’t made it to Top 10 Green Cities, but still the Mayor has gotten the sustainability dialogue started and even accomplished a thing or two since he took office in 2002.

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