Governor Cuomo Highlights Environmental Health in State of the State Address

(January 8, 2020 - Albany, NY) Today, Governor Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State address in Albany, making substantial commitments to climate and environmental health priorities. Specifically, the governor committed to banning single-use styrofoam food containers and packing peanuts and creating a $3 billion 'Restore Mother Nature' bond act

"Styrofoam is one of the most common pollutants and a public health hazard that impacts humans and the environment alike," said Governor Cuomo. "From take-out containers to packing peanuts, this material is everywhere and it will continue to pollute our waters and harm our wildlife for generations to come if we do not act. With this proposal, we can build on our nation-leading initiatives to protect the environment and move New York another step closer to a greener, more sustainable future." 

While single-use food containers are broadly unsustainable, styrofoam is exceptionally so. Styrofoam does not biodegrade, instead remaining in the environment in perpetuity.  Styrofoam has been linked with depression, headaches, fatigue, disrupted kidney function, among numerous other symptoms, and the material is believed by many to be a carcinogen. 

“Governor Cuomo has put environmental health back on the agenda with his ban on toxic styrofoam,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York. “We are encouraged by the Governor’s continued enthusiasm for a nontoxic New York, and we anticipate his support finishing last year’s business as well.”

In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo summarized his position on environmental health and climate with a declaration that "the economy of tomorrow is the green economy." In pursuing a toxic polysterene ban, the Governor has committed New York to a course that eliminates unnecessary and harmful chemicals and waste from our environment.


Clean and Healthy New York works for safer chemicals, a sustainable economy, and a healthier world. It co-leads the JustGreen Partnership, over 50 organizations working for environmental health and justice for New York’s people and communities, and leads the national Getting Ready for Baby campaign working to ensure all baby and children’s products are free of harmful chemicals.

The JustGreen Partnership is a coalition of about 50 groups representing nearly a million New Yorkers, all working together for environmental health and justice for New York’s people and communities. The Partnership focuses on transforming the policies that govern how chemicals are regulated or marketed in the great State of New York. Through our work, we are building a better movement for health and environmental justice in New York State.

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