A number of initiatives under way in California could extend the growing number of communities there that have bans on polystyrene takeout packaging.
Earlier this month, Seaside, Calif., became the 31st city in California to ban PS takeout packaging.
In addition, the board of supervisors in Monterey County is scheduled to vote March 16 on a proposed ban on the use of PS takeout packaging in unincorporated areas of the county, and the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority has recommended that county and its four cities adopt a PS ban and further urge the businesses that sell prepared food to switch voluntarily to biodegradable packaging.
The Seaside ban will go into effect Aug. 3, and also will require all takeout packaging such as cups, plates, cutlery and clamshell containers to be biodegradable and made from paper, sugarcane, corn byproducts and potato starches.
The Monterey county ban would go into effect one year after it is passed and apply to all disposable food-service items, including plates, cups, bowls, trays, straws, cup lids, utensils and hinged or lidded containers and cartons.
The county said there are roughly 170 restaurants, grocery stores and food vendors that operate within the unincorporated areas of the county. In all of Monterey County, there are an estimated 2,200 restaurants, grocers and food vendors with PS bans already in effect in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Del Ray Oaks, and Seaside.
In addition to the 31 city bans, Santa Cruz County and Marin County in California also have PS bans, and Los Angeles and four other counties in California have PS bans at citywide facilities and events. Further up the coast, Portland, Ore., and Seattle and Issaquah, Wash., also have enacted PS bans.
In the Midwest, Chicago is looking into banning PS takeout containers citywide after learning that Chicago public schools discard 35 million PS containers annually.
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