msnbc | February 16, 2013
>>> his state of the city speech this week, mayor michael bloomberg pushed to ban styrofoam in manhattan.
>> it's not just terrible for the environment. it's another thing that's terrible for the taxpayers. styrofoam increases the cost of recycling by as much as $20 per ton because it has to be removed, something we know is environmentally destructive that is costing taxpayers money and that is easily replaceable, i think is something we can do without.
>> joining me michael barbareau covers mayor bloomberg for "the no, times." good to see you.
>> good to be here.
>> he wants to take styrofoam out of new york city stores and restaurants. how feetible is th ibfeasible is this?
>> entirely feasible. this is like the cockroach of trash.
>> the cockroach of trash.
>> it never dies, it doesn't biodegrade, it breaks apart, ends up in the water system, being 20,000 tons of it in the city's landfills and he thinks it's unnecessary.
>> and we think this is something that he can get done before he leaves office?
>> yes. he's had a little more difficulty with banning other things like a 32-ounce soda but this one it appears can he get done through the city council which tends to do what he likes to do.
>> does he have some backing from green energy advocates so far on this one?
>> absolutely and there are other cities out there who have done this successfully, los angeles , portland and oregon have done it. there is precedent for getting it done.
>> in a mayor bloomberg , this is what he had to say earlier at a funeral service for former mayor ed koch . take a listen.
>> over the years, many people turned to ed for advice including me. no one understood the job like he did and no one was more eager to talk about it. he was always available, always direct, always wise. for example, i remember the time we're talking about how to tackle obesity and he said, limit the size of sugary drinks. no one will notice.
>> of course people did notice. is he going to face the same kind of opposition here that he faced on sugary drinks?
>> there is no styrofoam lobby as powerful as the american beverage lobby and that is where mike bloomberg has run into a real serious legal obstacle that the industry told him you're not going to do this. i'll tell you why they're doing that, because you know the phrase if you can make it here in new york you can make it anywhere. if you can ban it here you can probably ban it anywhere. the mayor banned indoor smoking, other cities adopted it, the beverage industry does not want that experiment happens here to go national so he's facing a big legal fight on banning large sodas.
>> and typically once it's banned, it rarely comes back.
>> as we know.
>> michael barbareau of "the new york times" thanks so much.