Apr 9 - Santa Cruz Co Seeks to Ban All Foam Products

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Since 2008, Santa Cruz County has banned foamed food containers in restaurants, but this Tuesday the County hopes to tackle all foam products on store shelves—including those pesky foam coolers and prepackaged plates and cups littering its beaches.

If successful, Santa Cruz County would join the City of Capitola in the most sweeping ban of expanded polystyrene (eps) products to date. The Cities of Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and possibly Watsonville are also considering this action.

Take action—you can send comments online to the Board of Supervisors (go to Item 53 of the agenda and click the email icon), or attend tomorrow’s meeting in support. The meeting starts at 9 am at the Governmental Center Building (701 Ocean Street, Room 525, Santa Cruz, CA) but the item will likely be heard later on that morning.

While local eps bans are surging forward, the battle for a statewide solution has had a brief respite. SB 568 (Lowenthal) is currently inactive on the Assembly floor but eligible for a vote this summer.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, foam cup and container company Dart Container has been trying to influence state lawmakers, spending over $155,000 in campaign donations last year. Two area legislators who did not accept Dart’s money were Senator Joe Simitian and Senator Sam Blakeslee. Both voted for SB 568 last year.

Dart has also reportedly offered $100,000 to the City of San Jose to consider alternatives instead of a citywide foam takeout container ban. San Jose became the largest US city with a plastic bag ban in 2010. Although the City did not take the money, it did agree to working with the company on a pilot program.

Learn more about SB 568 and take action.