New York State’s ban on polystyrene products impacts local restaurant

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February 04 2022 08:00 am

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – New York State introduced several new laws at the start of 2022, including the ban on polystyrene products. Now, restaurants across the state are saying goodbye to Styrofoam containers and hello to higher costs.

Curly’s Chicken House in Elmira, for example, is now giving away its last stock of Styrofoam containers for their takeout orders. According to the owner, residents who pay for takeout may have to pay a bit more as a result.

“The cost of the other products that we have to use are two and three times the cost of the Styrofoam,” said Kristi Mertsock, owner of Curly’s Chicken House. “And even though it’s understandable why they want to get rid of the Styrofoam, I feel like they could have postponed that for a little while since small businesses have been hit so hard the last couple of years.”

Kristi says the original Styrofoam to-go boxes cost them 25 cents each, while the new plastic containers cost them 75 cents to a dollar. A likely option for covering costs is for the restaurant to raise prices.

“It’s probably going to take a good year or two to get everything adjusted and compensate what we’re going to lose,” said Kristi.

In the meantime, Curly’s and other restaurants across the Southern Tier will do everything they can to take care of their customers without having to raise prices much higher.

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