Far Green Screws Consumers and Environment. Again

New York City has banned yet another common product. First it was the trans fats when the City worried about gangs greasing up the subway tracks. Then the red Solo™ cup of soda. Next it was selfies with kittens.

Now, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the largest city in the U.S. will ban polystyrene foam, effective July 1. No more packing peanuts. No more takeout coffee cups. No more Rigid Foam insulation.
Coffee Cup on the Beach
Actually I’m good with losing packing peanuts. They are such a PITA to store in my barn.

And I don’t drink coffee.

More than 75 cities and counties in California have banned polystyrene food and beverage containers and more. Brookline, Massachusetts, did the same in 2013. And now NYC.

Did the U.S. suddenly suffer a cranio-rectal inversion? Did the science-denying State of California suddenly end up on the East Coast?

There is, as usual, pretty good (read “scientific”) evidence that plastic is better than paper. It seems that science is anathema to the Far Green.

Let’s spend a minute with the real science instead of the political science.

Study after study has compared “styrofoam” cups side by each with paper cups to find that

• Polystyrene is derived from petroleum and natural-gas. It takes 4,748 gallons of water to make 10,000 Polystyrene cups. The 5.4 million BTUs needed to make 10,000 16-ounce polystyrene cups is about the same as burning 450 pounds of coal. Most important, it takes gallons of water.

• In addition to the renewable twenty million trees, most paper cups are coated with polyethylene, derived from petroleum and natural-gas. It takes 8,095 gallons of water to make 10,000 LDPE-coated paper cups with sleeves. The 6.5 million BTUs needed for 10,000 polyethylene-coated paper cups is equivalent to 542 pounds of coal. (The “greener” polylactide-coated paper cups require even more water and energy.)


The average 16-ounce polystyrene cup uses a third less energy, produces half the solid waste by volume, releases a third less of the so-called greenhouse gases, and uses 40-percent less water than does the “green” 16-ounce paper cup with a sleeve.

[Editor’s note: the next wars will be fought over water.]

I know! I know! We’ll ban the plastic cup because it’s bad and promote the paper cup because it’s so much better for the environment.

We haven’t even gotten to life cycles.

Polystyrene is easy peasy to grind up and put through the process again and again and again so that marvelous, mailable cooler your steaks came in could have a new life as a high dollar coffee cup if the Far Green weren’t determined to cut down our forests.

Do you really want to save the environment? Carry your own mug. Don’t litter on my beach. Learn science.


7 thoughts on “Far Green Screws Consumers and Environment. Again

  1. A friend planned to build a new, energy efficient house in NYC this summer. It would have XPS (Expanded Polystyrene) board insulation for the cellar walls. Rigid foam insulation offers as much as double the R-value of traditional fiberglass batts, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

    Too bad. You lose.

    I wonder how Owens-Corning and Dow will respond?

  2. Herr Blogmeister wrat: “[Editor’s note: the next wars will be fought over water.]”

    Years ago a brilliant conservative writer named Gene Royer wrote an article called, “Buddy, can you spare my camel a drink.” Any interested reader can Google the article by name, as it is archived on the Tocquevillian. I would post the Link, but I don’t know how to do that… or even if such is allowed on this e-rag.

    However, Mr Royer wrote on the premise that Saudi Arabia is as dependent on its oil as is the rest of the world because Saudi needs oil to fuel its desalinization facilities that produce potable water. Without millions of gallons of water needed to keep the A-rab society alive, it would shrivel up like a fat man’s genitals in a cold shower.

    In fact, the Judeo/Christian New Testament depicts a time when virtually all water on the planet will be polluted — and that will certainly be a seminal cause for warfare. It is in Revelation.

    — George

  3. I have never used an article preceding the noun “anathema.” It is not that anyone told me not to, only that I had never seen it used with an article and so I did not. Then I read on FB someone chastising the author of this august blog for his use of “an,” as in “an athema.” I read the offending sentence and my mind immediately replaced his offensive usage with the alleged proper usage.

    It seems that science is anathema to the Far Green.

    “The main definitions of the noun anathema are (1) a detested person or thing, and (2) a formal ecclesiastical ban. The term comes directly from Latin, where it meant a doomed offering. It is most often used to denote someone or something that is reviled by a particular group. It conventionally functions a mass noun, so it does not take an article. For example, he is anathema is more conventional than he is an anathema and he is the anathema.” — http://grammarist.com/usage/anathema/

  4. Grammar noodle over, you know as well as I that the “battle” has fuck-all to do with what’s right for the environment, and everything to do with who is paying whom and how much.

    I do have another complaint, however. Your thingie, the one that thinks it can determine my species if I click a fruit, has asked me to click “the” Banana.
    First of all, there is no solitary banana. Secondly, I have no way to tell if any of those fruits have proper names and which of them might be named “Banana.” Since I knew a girl dog that was named “Boy,” it would be foolish of me to presume that the bunch of bananas in the collection are the ones with the proper name of “Banana.”

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