May 23 - California Senate to Vote on Takeout Container Bill

SB 568, a proposed statewide ban on foam takeout containers by Senator Alan Lowenthal, may be up for a vote on the Senate Floor this Thursday. If it passes, it will move to the Assembly for further consideration.

Support for the bill includes environmental organizations and several local businesses, restaurants, and chambers of commerce. Opposition includes foam container manufacturers and several statewide business associations. A fact sheet on the bill can be found here with a full list of support and opposition.

Expanded polystyrene or eps negatively affects the environment and human health. A National Institute for Health program is expected to soon release a report listing styrene, which is used to make polystyrene, as a possible carcinogen.

Opponents to the bill, such as the American Chemistry Council, assert that recycling is a better option to manage this common type of litter. However, current polystyrene recycling rates in the state are a dismal 4%. Furthermore, waste management companies have found that recycling isn’t cost-effective; the cost to process a bale of recycled eps exceeds its market value.

Read more and listen to a KPBS radio clip here. For more information on the bill, the problem with expanded polystyrene, or for a list of local ordinances that have banned eps, please visit our website. You can also contact your State Senators and urge them to support this bill.