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The New York Times this morning reports that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "whose regulatory lance has slain fatty foods, supersize sodas, and smoking in parks, is now targeting plastic foam, the much-derided polymer that environmentalists have long tried to restrict." In his final state-of-the-city address today (term limits prevent him from running again), Bloomberg reportedly "will propose a citywide ban on plastic-foam food packaging, including takeout boxes, cups and trays. Public schools would be instructed to remove plastic-foam trays from their cafeterias. Many restaurants and bodegas would be forced to restock."

According to the story, "Officials at City Hall said a plastic-foam ban could save millions of dollars a year. Plastic foam, which is not biodegradable, can add up to $20 per ton in recycling costs when the city processes recyclable materials. The city handles about 1.2 million tons of food waste each year; the mayor’s office estimated that the city’s annual waste stream included about 20,000 tons of plastic foam ... Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal is one element of a larger environmental protection effort he plans to pursue during his final year in office. In his speech, he will also pledge to install 1,000 recycling containers on sidewalks, doubling the current number."

“We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine,” Bloomberg reportedly plans to say in his speech.
KC's View:
We all can differ on whether NYC has become a kind of nanny state, and I would agree with those who would suggest than when it comes to things like jumbo soft drink bans, it has gone too far.

But as someone who was born in Greenwich Village and spends a fair amount of time in NYC, I have to say that NYC is a far more livable place today than it was before Bloomberg became mayor.

On balance, from smoking bans to bicycle lanes, Bloomberg has been good for the city's residents.