California Introduces Bill to Ban Styrofoam

September 4, 2011

A California legislator has introduced legislation that would ban restaurants, grocery stores and other vendors from distributing food in Styrofoam containers beginning in 2016. If the legislation passes, the state would be the first one nationally to implement a statewide ban. More than 50 California cities and counties have already enacted similar bans on Styrofoam. 

Democratic state Senator Alan Lowenthal says, "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. It costs millions to clean up beaches." 

Business owners in the restaurant industry vehemently oppose the legislation, claiming it would substantially increase their costs. Biodegradable containers are often more expensive and restaurant owners say they need two containers to ensure food doesn't leak through. 

Other opponents say the legislation doesn't address the root of the environmental concerns that have prompted the ban: people who litter. They say the government should urge people to change their behavior rather than banning Styrofoam outright.  

What do you think of the proposed ban? Are you in favor or opposed to it? 

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Robert Cargeeg's picture

We are currently recycling Styrofoam in California. Do not ban this great product, help make the public aware that clean and contaminated foam can and is being recycled and reused in alternative products. Cjeck our web page out at