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Styrofoam Restrictions Pass Senate

Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 6:54am

The days of Styrofoam takeout containers might be numbered in California. A bill that would eliminate them has passed the state Senate.

The bill by Democratic Senator Alan Lowenthal would give restaurants and schools several years to stop using Styrofoam. Lowenthal says the material is not biodegradable and is a major source of litter and ocean debris.

“When the container breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, it never disappears and it is easily mistaken for food by marine animals which can cause irreparable harm,” says Lowenthal.

The legislation would allow the use of Styrofoam if at least 60 percent of the containers are recycled. The measure was narrowly approved. Republican Senator Ted Gaines is concerned about the cost of new containers for vendors, saying, “focus seems to be in the wrong area. I don’t know why we are not going after the people that are littering, that are creating all of the challenges we have on the coast.”

Dozens of California cities and counties have put their own bans in place. The California Chamber of Commerce calls Lowenthal’s bill a “job killer.”

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