The beginning of June marked the end of styrofoam in San Francisco. As noted by Zagat Buzz, last Thursday was the last day that restaurants and food vendors were allowed to use Styrofoam containers. Going forward, acceptable ware must follow the “biodegradable/compostable” standards:
• Coated and uncoated paper, cardboard, or other natural fiber (e.g., sugarcane) products, and “bio-based” plastic-like materials (such as from potato or corn based resin).
• Bio-based plastic-like products must be clearly labeled as compostable, preferably with green BPI* symbol or other green lettering or marking, to distinguish them from traditional non-compostable plastics and to verify meeting ASTM-Standards under state requirements for compostable labeling.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what exactly is so bad about Styrofoam (or, as we like to call it: devilware), here’s a friendly reminder from the government of all places:
Made from oil and like all conventional plastics, polystyrene foam is non-renewable, non-biodegradable, and virtually non-recyclable. Polystyrene foam food service ware ends up in landfills, waterways or the ocean. It breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, which are often mistaken for food and ingested by marine animals, birds, and fish. Medical evidence also suggests that chemicals in polystyrene foam are carcinogenic and may leach into food or drink.
The not-so-great thing is that there’s a bit of a loophole in the new law. If the restaurant cannot afford to abandon Styrofoam, then they can continue to dole it out to their customers. Slowly but surely, slowly but surely.
San Francisco Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance [sfgov.org]
Restaurants Banned From Using Styrofoam [Zagat Buzz]