The city of San Francisco is on the brink of changing its existing expanded polystyrene restriction to become the most expansive in the United States.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to expand a 2007 ban on EPS well beyond food service containers, to include packing peanuts, coffee cups, coolers, pool toys and marine buoys as of Jan. 1, 2017.
Even supermarket meat and fish trays and egg cartons — usually explicitly exempt in similar ban legislation — will have to be out of stores by July 1, 2017.
The bill requires a second vote, already set for July 12, and as one city official said, “unless something drastic happened in the next two weeks,” the ban is expected to pass. It does not require the signature of Mayor Ed Lee (D) to become law.
Though it covers almost any product referred to many outside the plastics industry as “Styrofoam,” the ban does not actually include the Dow Chemical Co. trademarked insulation, nor construction or craft products.
San Francisco has the goal of becoming a “zero waste” city by 2020. Other U.S. cities have attempted to take on foam, including New York City, which saw its ban struck down in court late last year, and Washington, D.C., where a food service EPS ban went into effect Jan. 1.