Politics & Legislation US

New York Procurement Bans Polystyrene

It looks like the days of Polystyrene are over in the US. Another US city restricts the use of polystyrene following the move of Washington state earlier this year.

New York sets restrictions on state agency purchasing food containers containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) or polystyrene.

The decision was taken by the state’s interagency committee on sustainability and green procurement on 20th April 2018

The chemical industry trade association, FlouroCouncil, objected to the move, saying the use of PFASs is already “thoroughly regulated” by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Flourocouncil arguments are the following: the ban is unnecessary, contrary to sound science, and will provide no further benefits to public health or the environment.

The long-chain perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been largely phased out in the US, but have often been replaced by less well-known short-chain fluorinated chemicals that have similar environmental and health impacts.

PFOS and PFOA long-chain compounds are also still being used in products made in other countries that may be imported into the US.

Phasing out polystyrene (PFOA, PFOS and related substances) will be the biggest regulatory challenge in the coming year. It seems that American are saying farewll to polystyrene.

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