Jul 8 - San Diego Schools Look to Ban Foam Polystyrene Lunch Trays

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By the 2015-2016 school year, the San Diego School District plans to have eliminated expanded polystyrene (eps) lunch trays from its schools. A resolution to phase out the 15 million trays that the District annually uses was passed by the school board on June 28th.

The resolution gives the district’s superintendent authority to develop a plan to "phase out the lunch trays in favor of a more environmentally friendly alternative," according to an article in the San Diego Union Tribune.

Although the switch is not yet determined, the district hopes to join a collective effort with nearby districts to replace foam trays, in order to take advantage of bulk purchasing cost savings for the alternative products.

CAW supports alternatives to eps and other plastic products that cannot be recycled or composted, and is currently working on SB 568, a ban on the use foam takeout containers.

Currently, 377,579 tons of polystyrene are produced in California alone, including 154,808 tons of food service packaging. Most curbside recycling programs in California do not accept any polystyrene plastic resin because it contaminates recycling and is difficult to transport without littering issues, thus making source reduction the most viable solution to the problem of polystyrene.

To read more about what CAW is doing on this issue, click here.