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Posts Tagged ‘Recycling laws’

Right now, Speaker Christine C. Quinn is New York City's "Green" Champion. I wonder if she knows where to buy organic chicken sans the Styrofoam.

Let’s start with the good news.  Last month The City Council approved a bunch of bills that will finally overhaul NYC recycling laws. This legislation, which has been bouncing around all Spring,  will be the first major change to New York City recycling since 1989.

The new law will mean that finally all hard plastics will be recycled by the city. For New Yorker’s like me, it means we won’t have to be traipsing our #1 and #3 plastic garbage to other states or our#5 plastic to Whole Food. It also means that  they’re going to put more recycling bins in schools and public areas and allow residents to recycle hazardous waste like paint. (via New York Times Green Blog)

According to Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who’s been instrumental in pushing this bill through:


“Our legislation will divert over 8,000 tons of plastic every year away from landfills and incinerators.  That’s equal to the amount of trash produced by nearly 10,000 people each year.”

I first heard about this on the radio a few weeks ago. And I’m completely psyched about this. But can somebody tell me why I can’t buy an organic or at least humanely raised chicken that’s not packed in Styrofoam? Oh, yes, the Whole Foods saga continues.

I know that lots of people will say, just stop going to the grocery store. But the thing is, Whole Foods in Connecticut sells their chickens on recycled paper trays. So why not New York.

So I wondered, maybe the 59 th street Whole Foods was an anomaly. I called the Tribeca store and talked to Jeanette in customer service . Unfortunately, she told me that yes, the store in Tribeca uses Styrofoam trays.

“Are you allergic to Styrofoam?” she asked me.

“No,” I told her, “I”m just committed to not buying Styrofoam.”

Nobody’s surprised. She also agreed that it was against Whole Food’s corporate identity to use Styrofoam and promised me that she’d check and see if other NYC Whole Foods used Styrofoam. She never got back to me.

So yesterday, I ran to Fairways on 125th street. I’d had a good experience getting chicken in a paper wrapper on 72nd street, but 125th street was a bust. First of all I had to explain what I wanted in Spanish — which was tricky. (And no, I don’t know the word for Styrofoam in Spanish.) But the woman behind the butcher counter pretty much understood what I wanted. (She of course tried to take the chicken wrapped in Styrofoam and rewrap it). There was a chance they had more Organic chickens upstairs, but I ran out of patience and didn’t want to wait while they checked on the third floor.

I went to buy grass-fed beef instead, but the London Broil were imported from Australia. I’ve pretty much sworn off eating meat from other hemispheres let alone other states. Needless to say, I left Fairways with no dinner. (Maybe the universe wants me to go Vegan — I’m sure that’s what my cousin Donna will say.)

As I checked out, the man bagging my grass-fed milk was a bordering middle aged white guy wearing a tie — he was atypical for the average Fairway’s  grocery bagger.

“Are you a manager?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“I just wanted you to know,” I told him, “I couldn’t buy any of your meeat or chicken because it was packed in styrofoam.”

“Are you allergic to Styrofoam?” he also asked. (Is there a big styrofoam allergy epidemic I don’t know about?)

“No,” I said, “I’m committed not to making garbage.”

The cashier, a large black teenager nodded. I could tell he completely agreed with me.

The manager guy didn’t dismiss me. He listened thoughtfully to what I said.

“I’ll raise your concerns,” he told me. And, you know something, I believe him.

Note: Several months ago I asked the Cornucopia Institute to check and see if Fairway’s Milk was legit. I also emailed Fairway’s to ask where they sourced their milk from, to see how local it was. I never got a response on either front. I need to dig around a bit more. Unless somebody else out there knows more.

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