Potential Styrofoam ban
An example of some of the Styrofoam products that would be banned.

File photo

Potential Styrofoam ban

Story By: NICOLE ALLEGREZZA
11/9/2017


The Protecting the Environment in Patchogue, or PEP, committee recently announced the possibility of a village-wide Styrofoam ban to be implemented sometime in 2018, much like last year’s ban on single-use plastic bags.

Village of Patchogue trustee Joe Keyes said the discussion has been ongoing since implementing the single-use plastic bag ban and said if it was proven successful the committee would try to implement the Styrofoam ban. Now, a year later, he said the bag ban has proven effective with little-to-no complaints.

“Styrofoam is just as harmful as single-use plastic bags; it doesn’t go away, it’s not biodegradable and, according to a nationwide study, it makes up for 30 percent of our landfills,” said Keyes. “Plus, it is made up of 57 different chemicals and could have harmful effects and is possibly a carcinogen.”

Restaurants and bodegas, he explained, would be the most affected by the ban, but there are alternative options such as recyclable plastic-lined paper cups, bamboo fiber bowls, econtainer cups or edible cups and, of course, more practical options such as biodegradable cardboard, recyclable plastic and tin containers.

Patchogue Chamber executive director David Kennedy said he felt as though most, if not all, restaurants in the village are already in compliance with the code and would be on board. “The product is on its way out and most of our restaurants are already sensitive to these things and how it affects the environment,” he said.

Keyes said he also ran the idea by the village board late last month during a regular meeting and received no negative feedback. “We need to do a little more research, but once that is completed we will make a decision,” Mayor Paul Pontieri said. “Styrofoam is a huge problem. Whenever I have the choice, I always choose paper.”

If implemented, just like the single-use plastic bag ban, violators would be verbally warned, then given a written notice and warned once more before receiving a monetary summons. Further details, according to Keyes, would be discussed with the village attorney Brian Egan.

Keyes also mentioned National Recycling Day is Wednesday, Nov. 15. “It’s a great time to start getting people on board with recycling,” he added.