San Jose votes to ban polystyrene foam containers

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: August 27, 2013 11:08 pm ET
Updated: August 27, 2013 11:10 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Government & Legislation, Food service, Packaging

San Jose, Calif., will become the largest city in the country to pass a ban polystyrene foam containers for food service. The City Council on Aug. 27 passed a measure to phase out the material starting in 2014.

With a 9-2 vote, the proposal passed on first reading. A second and final vote will take place Sept. 3, but the vote is likely simply a formality. San Jose, California’s third largest city and the 10th largest city in the country, will now ban national food vendors from providing PS containers to customers starting Jan. 1, 2014, and other food vendors from giving customers PS containers starting Jan. 1, 2015. The law also allows for a financial hardship clause that could delay the implementation of the ban for specific restaurants.

City leaders who pushed for the measure said it would help reduce stormwater trash and get the city closer to its zero waste goal.

Both the American Chemistry Council and the California Restaurant Association were critical of the move. Both argued that PS is recyclable and the city should not give up on those efforts.

“This is a real step backward for recycling,” said Tim Shestek, senior director of the American Chemistry Council in Sacramento, in a statement. “The City Council’s vote would lead to prohibiting packaging that’s collected in curbside recycling programs elsewhere in California and replacing it with packaging that is thrown in the garbage.”

ACC said PS foam alternatives are costly and have a lower performance quality. City officials said a study they concluded showed that many businesses in the city that switched to PS alternatives were saving money.

“Foam is recyclable, and cities all over California are taking advantage of this by setting up foam recycling programs,” said Javier Gonzalez, government affairs director for the California Restaurant Association, in a statement. “It is unfortunate that our city leaders opted for a ban, instead of progressing on behalf of San Jose’s residents and family-owned restaurant owners to create smart, well-planned options.”

According to Californians Against Waste, there are currently 71 other cities or counties that banned have PS containers for food service.

“Dozens of other cities have taken a stand against this problem material, which litters our environment, clogs our stormwater systems, and is difficult and expensive to recycle,” the organization said on its website.


Comments

San Jose votes to ban polystyrene foam containers

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: August 27, 2013 11:08 pm ET
Updated: August 27, 2013 11:10 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

French investment firm buys Alabama-based CSP Technologies

January 30, 2015 1:10 pm ET

A French investment firm has finalized a deal to buy CSP Technologies Inc., an Auburn, Ala., company that makes specialty plastics packaging.    More

Image

Report: Brands are falling short on packaging sustainability

January 29, 2015 5:19 pm ET

Packaging in general, and plastic packaging in particular, has a long way to go in terms of recycling, according to a pair of environmental groups.    More

Image

Profit dips at Bemis Co. Inc.

January 29, 2015 2:04 pm ET

Profit dipped for Bemis Co. Inc. for all of 2014, but were up during the fourth quarter in what the company's leader called a “pivotal year....    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Losing weight with style, plastics in the Dragons' Den

January 29, 2015 6:00 am ET

A 19-year-old entrepreneur brings business to a U.K. injection molder after winning support on TV's Dragons' Den, auto suppliers combine...    More

Image

African equity fund invests in Kenya's General Plastics

January 28, 2015 4:24 pm ET

An African investment fund specializing in agriculture has invested in Kenyan packaging firm General Plastics Ltd. to provide funds to expand in the r...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events