Businesses fight back against a foam-free city

Restaurant owners say losing foam containers will hurt them more than helping the environment.

Restaurant owners say losing foam containers will hurt them more than helping the environment. (6/23/15)

NEW YORK - New York City is set to be foam-free soon, but a coalition of small business owners is trying to put a stop to it. 

The Restaurant Action Alliance is a group of hundreds of restaurant owners suing the city over its foam container ban, claiming it will hurt them more than it helps the environment. 

After an extensive study, officials say they found that the products, which they call expanded polystyrene foam, are not biodegradable. They add that even if the foam was processed, there would be no one to buy it because recycled foam could be considered too dirty. 

Opponents argue that foam products are their cheapest option, and having to switch to something else could put them out of business. One woman told News 12 that buying cardboard instead of foam would increase her business costs from $13 a box to $50 per container.

The ban is set to go into effect next Wednesday, July 1. However, there will be a grace period of six months before fines will be issued for noncompliance.  

For businesses making less than $500,000 per year, there is an option to apply for an exemption from the ban. 

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