California lawmakers considering ban on Styrofoam
Styrofoam containers used for packaging food will still remain identifiable in landfills 500 years from now.
Ayinde O. Chase
Sacramento, CA, United States
August 29, 2011 04:40 pm EDT
Environmental Issue, Environmental Pollution, Politics, Government
California lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban restaurants, grocery stores and other vendors from using polystyrene containers, commonly known as Styrofoam, for food storage.
The measure if passed would prohibit Styrofoam use by 2016.
According to the bill’s author, democratic state Senator Alan Lowenthal, litter from the foam containers is one of the most abundant forms of debris found in city streets, sewers and beaches.
“It's not biodegradable, it's not compostable, and if it's in the water for a long time, it breaks up into small beads and lasts for thousands of years,” said Lowenthal. “It costs millions to clean up beaches.”
Lowenthal’s law, SB568, would only affect polystyrene containers and not packaging
However, critics believe if the measure passes jobs will be lost needlessly and costs will rise already cutting into an industry where profit margins are already incredibly small. They also believe it doesn’t address the real reason why people litter.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports Americans dispose more than 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year and most of them will still be sitting in a landfill 500 years from now.
News of the proposed Styrofoam ban comes less than a week after a California Senate committee unanimously approved a bill to block local jurisdictions from banning male circumcision.
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