In his final State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will propose a citywide ban on plastic-foam food packaging, a non-biodegradable polymer environmentalists have derided for years.
As reported by The New York Times, the ban will include takeout boxes, cups and trays, forcing restaurants and bodegas to restock.
“We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine,” said Bloomberg in excerpts from his speech released on Wednesday.
Additionally, public schools would be instructed to remove plastic-foam trays from their cafeterias, the paper reported.
City officials are saying that curtailing an annual waste stream of about 20,000 tons of plastic foam could save up to $20 per ton in recycling costs equaling millions of dollars per year.
Under the mayor's administration, the percentage of waste recycled by the city has fallen from 23 percent in 2001, to 15 percent today.
In his speech, the mayor also will pledge to install 1,000 recycling containers on sidewalks, effectively doubling the current number.