Nassau ban on Styrofoam containers going into effect next year
The Nassau County Legislature on Monday unanimously passed a ban on the use of polystyrene, or Styrofoam, containers.
Brian Lew, owner of Sandwich Express in Plainview, says environmentally friendly alternatives to Styrofoam don't come cheap and will likely leave small businesses with no choice but to pass on the added expense to their customers through price increases.
Lew says a case of Styrofoam containers can be bought for $14; something more biodegradable would go for $85-$90 for the same quantity.
But Nassau legislators argue that there are affordable alternatives, citing Dunkin's decision to begin to phase out its use of Styrofoam. Legislator Denise Ford, of Long Beach, says the environmental benefit of a ban is undeniable.
Nassau now joins Suffolk County and New York City in banning the use of Styrofoam. Businesses that ignore the new county law will face fines of up to $2,500.
Nassau's Office of Consumer Affairs will have the authority to fine businesses that use Styrofoam once the law takes effect next January. That money will be used for environmental investigations and cleanup within the county.
Lew says he's already starting to phase out Styrofoam in favor of aluminum.
News 12 is told that Nassau County Executive Laura Curran intends to sign the measure into law.