New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during his weekly radio show, defended his proposal to prohibit plastic-foam coffee cups and food packaging in the city.
His comment came in response to a caller who accused him of “being on track to ban everything.”
“Come on,” Bloomberg responded, per Politicker’s Colin Campbell. “We’re not banning everything.”
His remark came just one day after the mayor, during his final State of the City address, outlined the proposal as part of a new citywide recycling initiative. The move comes after several other controversial health initiatives implemented by Bloomberg, including a ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and parks; limits on the sales of sugary soda; and a requirement that fast-food eateries post the fat and calorie counts of the items they serve.
On his radio show, Bloomberg disputed the idea that those initiatives constituted a “ban.”
“You can still buy cigarettes, we haven’t banned that!” Bloomberg declared, according to Politicker. “You can still buy 32 or 64 ounces of full-sugared beverage, you just have to take … 16-ounce cups if it’s in a restaurant or a theater. In smoking, you can’t smoke where other people have to breathe the smoke. ... In the case of Styrofoam … an awful lot of places on the West Coast have already banned it."
Bloomberg argued his proposal to ban plastic-foam packaging is not only good for the environment, it will also ultimately help taxpayers by cutting down on the costs of managing trash in landfills. "Here in New York City, it costs us an extra 20 bucks a ton to take it out of these recycling things," he said.
The mayor added: “This is not asking anybody to do anything that’s really going to hurt anybody. But it’s good for everybody. So we’re not banning everything! We’re just trying to do some intelligent things.”