PLASTICS CORNER NY LAWMAKERS AIM LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE AT NON-BIODEGRADABLES

PLASTICS CORNER NY LAWMAKERS AIM LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE AT NON-BIODEGRADABLES

New York state and local government use of non-biodegradable plastics and rigid foam would be limited to circumstances where use is reasonably necessary, under legislation introduced by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D- Westchester, and Sen. Michael J. Tully, R-Nassau.

As part of a legislative package to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastics, Assemblyman Brodsky and Sen. Tully also proposed barring retailers

from packaging their products in non-biodegradable plastics. The food and beverage service would be included.The legislation would allow companies that own more than one retail outlet to package products in rigid foam only for distribution to those outlets.

The legislators' first measure would require state government and municipalities with populations of over 200,000 to submit a certificate of need to the Department of Environmental Conservation before purchasing any item made of, or packaged in, non-biodegradable plastic. The DEC would have the authority to revoke any certificate of need. The measure would take effect 60 days after being signed into law by the governor.

The second proposal would bar the use of non-biodegradable plastic by retailers beginning 120 days after being signed by the governor. After Jan. 1, 1992, the sale of any product packaged in non-biodegradable plastic would be banned. A similar proposal by Assemblyman Maurice Hinchey, D-Ulster, chairman of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, would ban the use of non-biodegradables after January 1990.

A spokesman for Sen. Tully said the legislators would be negotiating with Assemblyman Hinchey to develop a compromise bill, in order to assure passage.

Proposals to regulate the sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic have surfaced as part of New York's quest for a workable solid waste management plan. Some plastics, specifically rigid foam made using chlorofluorocarbons, have been blamed for depletion of the ozone layer, the release of carcinogens, the state's shrinking landfill capacity and depletion of oil supplies.