State Senate Passes Polystyrene Ban
June 6, 2011
Say your prayers, polystyrene. The polymer prominent in Styrofoam to-go containers would be prohibited under a bill that passed the state Senate Thursday. Despite being villified for years by environmentalists and scientists, who've shown that Styrofoam takes years to break down and lingers in landfills and storm drains, polystyrene products have remained a staple of fast food establishments and restaurants providing takeout options to diners.
But Senate Bill 568, introduced by Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and still awaiting a hearing in the Assembly, won't take effect until 2016 for restaurants and 2017 for school districts. (The original start year was 2014, but Lowenthal pushed it back due to pressure from Republicans and the California Restaurant Association, both of whom support Styrofoam because it's cheaper than other alternatives.)
Meanwhile, several cities in Monterey County, as the Weekly reported in April, already have polystyrene bans in effect (though many restaurants still provide Styrofoam containers to customers). On this environmental issue, the Peninsula's ahead of the curve.