Aug 4 - Livermore's Foam Ban Takes Off with Savings to Businesses


On July 1, the City of Livermore’s takeout container ordinance went into effect and food vendors in the city are now prohibited from using or distributing food containers that are not recyclable or compostable.

Businesses that have embraced the transition have seen some major financial benefits, according to a Livermore Patch article. Beside the public relations benefits of a food vendor adopting eco-friendly packaging, there is also a direct cost benefit in switching to recyclable and compostable materials.

After Livermore’s First Street Alehouse switched to recyclable containers and began participation in the city’s composting program, the restaurant totaled savings at $1,600 a month in garbage collection fees. The ordinance was passed last year, and many restaurants were eager to implement the ban and reap its benefits.

Unfortunately, several businesses have been slower to catch on and were spotted ignoring the ban in its first month of implementation, according to another Livermore Patch article. Two weeks after the ban, some small local restaurants, as well as a few corporate owned restaurants, were seen using polystyrene containers. Livermore’s ordinance allows some businesses to apply for a one year extension if the switch will cause a substantial economic hardship, but this will most likely apply only to a handful of non-compliers. Residents in Livermore or other jurisdictions with similar ordinances should report violations to their Public Works department or other appropriate entity immediately.

This year, the whole state of California has the opportunity to ban expanded polystyrene foam takeout containers, which would create a uniform regulation for businesses that operate within multiple cities and help reduce this problem product from our environment. SB 568 will be heard in an appropriations committee this month on August 17th. The bill is currently facing fierce opposition from the plastics industry and others. Visit the links below to help make sure the bill becomes law.

To read more about SB 568, click here.

To send a letter to your Assemblymember urging their aye vote, click here.