San Francisco Pushes for Most Extensive Ban on Styrofoam Yet

Connector Spring 2016

San Francisco Supervisor London Breed has proposed legislation to fully ban Styrofoam in the city. If the legislation passes, polystyrene food packaging would be banned, and the material would be prohibited in the manufacturing of beach toys, dock floats, and mooring buoys. The ruling would be enforced by San Francisco’s Department of the Environment who would fine noncompliant companies. Polystyrene foam packages shipped from out of state would be exempt, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Most foam food containers are already banned in San Francisco and have been for years, however this new legislation aims to impose the most expansive ban on polystyrene of any city—even more than Seattle, which currently has the tightest restrictions on the material.

For now, recycling facility Recology doesn’t work with polystyrene tossed in recycle bins so a majority becomes litter lingering on land and in water. Industry says it can be recycled, pointing out that 52 communities in California have curbside programs to handle the material. One organization who claims it can be recycled has offered grants for polystyrene foam recycling programs.

Meanwhile, Russell Long, president of nonprofit Sustainable San Francisco, told San Francisco Chronicle he hopes the proposed bill will lead to a statewide ban. “You start getting some momentum on a local level like this and you create a ripple … that’s the goal for the legislation.”

Breed’s legislation is projected to push through, but the timeframe and how restrictive it will be are not known.

See also San Francisco Chronicle: Foam fight: SF plan would ban Styrofoam

Source: Waste Dive