On June 2, 2011, California Senate votes to ban styrofoam food containers in the food service industry starting 2014, by a vote of 21-15.
When we wrote our article about the city of Pacific Grove in California and its newly approved (at the time) ban on styrofoam or polystyrene food containers, there were just a handful of cities in California and in other states that have instituted similar restrictions.
The fight against polystyrene, a major pollutant, has come a long way and just recently, the Senate of the state of California approved a ban on this dangerous material in the food service industry starting 2014.
The measure passed through the Senate by a vote of 21-15 on June 2. It will now be calendared for discussion and a vote in the state’s Assembly.
The proponent of the bill, Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) said that the the measure once approved by the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown will not impact the operations of food service businesses in the state and will also have little adverse effect on jobs in the foam manufacturing sector.
Lowenthal mentioned that the two biggest producers of foam in the state are also the biggest producer of alternative materials. Food service businesses will also have one full year to prepare for the measure as it will not become effective until 2014.
Recognizing the growing demand for polystyrene, the proposed law exempts cities and counties with existing styrofoam recycling facilities from the ban.
Polysterene is one of the most persistent source of garbage and waste materials that clog waterways and pollute the ocean. Senator Lowenthal said this measure is a step towards fully protecting the environment in California.
Photo: Shandi-lee Cox