The city of San Jose in California is set to become the largest city in the United States to successfully ban polystyrene foam containers for those in the food service industry. In late August, the San Jose City Council voted to pass a measure to phase out the popular take-away containers starting in early 2014. The measure had wide support, passing 9-2.
San Jose is the third largest city in California and the tenth largest city in the nation. The ban stops stores and vendor from distributing polystyrene containers to customers purchasing food in a gradual roll-out beginning January 1, 2014 and concluding a year later. Hardship clauses are included for those small businesses that require additional implementation time.
San Jose is working to achieve a zero waste goal and the City Council members view the ban as a way to reduce stormwater trash and reduce the overall amount of waste going to landfills.
Based on information provided by Californians Against Waste, there are seventy one cities or counties that have also banned polystyrene containers for food service.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re in the food service or grocery business, looking into polystyrene alternatives might be worth your time and energy. Much like plastic bag bans, foams container bans are growing in popularity – better to be seen as a leader looking for green and cost effective solutions than scrambling to make changes when the City Council takes a vote!