Hein signs Ulster County plastic foam ban

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Co-sponsors Bartels, left, and Wawro among those listening as
Hein touts the law

KINGSTON – Say goodbye to polystyrene foam containers in Ulster
County. County Executive Michael Hein signed a new law Thursday that immediately
outlaws this take-out material, known to clog landfills and aggravate
littering.
The law, known as the “Food Waste Reduction Act,” is the first of its kind in New York State. It prohibits food service establishments from distributing single-use take-out food containers made of polystyrene.
Fines range from $250 to $1,000 per day, with a six-month education period, also with a financial hardship exemption loophole. It will be enforced by the county Health Department.
“We’re moving to a place where polystyrene is not going to be the problem it is today,” Hein said.
“It has been a long road and a lot of discussion,” said County Legislator Tracy Bartels (D, Gardiner), the bill’s sponsor.   “What we passed is truly remarkable. It’s amazing that Ulster County is now a lead in this issue.”
Legislator Mary Wawro (R, Saugerties), the co-sponsor, agreed.
“Everyone got on the same page,” Wawro said. “We were able to make a giant step forward.”
Hein said “The best part is we’re going to show other counties what is possible, and make things different for the entire Hudson Valley.”