May 9 - Pacific Grove Bans Polystyrene Food Packaging

The Pacific Grove City Council has voted unanimously to ban foamed polystyrene takeout food containers, joining a number of California cities that have done so in the past year.

Kevin Howe of the Monterey County Herald writes that it had already been policy to not use polystyrene in city facilities:

Polystyrene foam "is highly durable, persisting longer than any type of litter," City Manager Jim Colangelo said in a report to the council. It is lightweight, and its tendency to break into tiny pieces causes it to float or be blown into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, where birds and other animals eat it, often with fatal results. Biodegradeable takeout packaging made of paper, sugarcane, corn by-products and potato starch is available locally, Colangelo said, and the council made it city policy in 1989 to not purchase or use polystyrene if biodegradeable alternatives are available.

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CAW and Polystyrene Litter Pollution:

  • CAW has supported many local communities that have banned foamed polystyrene takeout food packaging.
  • CAW is sponsoring AB 904 (Feuer), which would require that all takeout packaging by made from recyclable or compostable materials.