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Restaurant Action Alliance, Dart Container Corporation & New York City’s Restaurant Owners Applaud Decision to Deny Motion to Reinstate Foam Ban


(New York, NY) – Today, the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division denied New York City’s motion to appeal an earlier decision overturning the City’s ban on foam foodservice products. Members of the recycling industry, restaurant owners, and others immediately applauded the decision, which will open the door for foam recycling in New York City.

"In September, New York Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan overturned the City’s ban on foam foodservice products,” said Randy Mastro, an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. “Today, we are gratified that the appellate court has denied the City’s request to immediately appeal that decision. We remain steadfast in our commitment to helping the City recycle 100% of its foam products and hope that the Mayor and Sanitation Commissioner decide to implement the industry-funded comprehensive recycling proposal currently sitting on their desks, which would be a 'win-win" for everyone.”

The initial lawsuit, which was filed by the Restaurant Action Alliance NYC, a coalition of New York City restaurant owners from all five boroughs, Dart Container Corporation, recycling companies, and foam manufacturers, sought to overturn a ban on foam products used in small restaurants all over the city. Instead of embracing a proposal that would have recycled 100% of the city’s used foam products, the city chose to ban a little more than 20% of foam, while sending the remaining 80% into landfills. A New York State Supreme Court overturned the ban, deeming it “arbitrary and capricious” and cleared the way for further opportunities to embrace a recycling proposal.

“The Appellate Division’s decision to deny the City’s request further proves what we have been saying all along: foam products can and should be recycled in New York City,” said Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs at Dart Container Corporation. “The evidence proves it – expanded polystyrene foam is 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled safely at no cost to tax payers. By allowing foam recycling to move forward, the City will save hundreds of jobs and bring in millions of dollars in savings, while doing what’s best for the environment.”