Price hike expected at local restaurants due to NYS Styrofoam ban

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Styrofoam take-out containers and packing peanuts will soon be a thing of the past as New York State’s ban on the products takes effect on January 1st, 2022.

The disposable products are used throughout many areas of the community, putting stress on local businesses to make a change fast. 

“It’s a huge transition for a lot of folks,” David Scalen Owner and Executive Vice President of Regional Distributors Inc. said.

While industries have had time to adjust to the new rules, manufacturers and buyers are running into trouble sourcing the new paper alternatives.

“First of all, monetarily, the replacement products cost a lot more money. And secondly, just because of the supply chain constraints, there’s going to be shortages of products,” Scalen said.

Scalen said the price hike is double what it used it be. Due to the increased pricing on disposable goods, Executive Chef Chuck Healey over at East Ridge Diner said all his prices will be going up because of the ban.

“Unfortunately, you’re going to probably see a one or 2% increase on every item on the menu,” Healy said, “As a chef, you don’t want to put stuff in something that’s going to make your food not as good when it gets home. That’s the biggest problem with switching products. They have some good stuff out. But unfortunately, it’s quite a bit more expensive.”

New York State’s ban on these products comes from an initiative to cut down on environmental litter that officials said is causing negative impacts to wildlife, waterways, and other natural resources because Styrofoam doesn’t break down the same way paper does.

The new rule does not apply to packaging used for raw meat, fish, or prepackaged food that’s sealed before it arrives at a food service provider.

Regional Territory Manager for Regional Distributors Sarah DeVogelaere said every alternative product will be more expensive than Styrofoam.

“But if it has an advantage to help the environment, hopefully, that impact shows sooner than later,” DeVogelaere said.

“I understand why they’re getting rid of the Styrofoam. I’m an outdoorsman. I want the best for my kids, for the environment that they’re going to have to grow up in. I don’t think there are enough studies done yet to prove that this is going to have that big of an impact on our environment. I think there are a lot more things that the government could be doing to help our little stamp on the environment than this. I applaud their efforts, and maybe they’ll see this doesn’t work and reverse it, but only time will tell us,” Chef Healey said.

According to the DEC, nonprofits and government agencies that provide food to those in need can get a waiver from the law’s requirement. That includes food pantries, soup kitchens, and places of worship.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Rochester Rundown
What's Good with Dan Gross
Songs From Studio B
Download Our App

Don't Miss