Aug 9, 2011

Science Scene - Styrofoam Ban?

Sandwiches, milkshakes and other food items frequently packaged in foam takeout containers will have to be packaged in other materials under a bill that cleared the state Senate on Thursday. SB 568 by Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) would prohibit food vendors and restaurants from dispensing prepared foods to customers in polystyrene foam beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Expanded polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam, is a lightweight plastic that, when littered, is often carried from streets through storm drains into the ocean. It accounts for 15% of storm drain litter, according to the California Department of Transportation. It is the second-most-common type of beach debris, according to a study by the Southern California Coastal Water Quality Research Project.
Fifty California jurisdictions have already banned foam takeout food packaging, including Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu and Ventura County.
SB 568 passed on a bipartisan 21-15 vote. The bill is headed to the Assembly, with a floor vote by the end of August.


  1. I'm all for this. Every time I order something through the mail, it comes with tons of this crap.

  2. This is a real problem. We ate at a place the other day that EVERYTHING even the eat in food was in styro foam, methinks the disadvantages out weigh the advantages. Never thought of the storm drain problems, but the biodegradeability of the stuff is too long.

  3. GOOD! I hate getting a to-go box made of this stuff and having to put it in the garbage because it's not recyclable. (At least not by the company that picks up our recycling.)

  4. A big win for the oceans and marine life as well!!

  5. I'm so glad to read this. I called our city to see if it is recyclable and they didn't know. Bummer! I still put it in the bin and they haven't thrown it out on the lawn yet.

  6. Yes, it's true ... we banned the Styrofoam take out boxes here in Santa Monica a while back ... and I haven't missed them a bit!

  7. I think the most important part of the story was not even stated... styrofoam is just about the only only food container that cannot practically be recyled! Pleastic can be melted to make new plastic, but styrofoam burns to easily to make commercial recycling realistic!


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