After the ban on selling plastic bottles in early 2014, the city now outlaws polystyrene products
San Francisco is famous –among other things – for its pioneering environmental policies, aiming to become a zero-waste city by 2020. This time, the city’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on June 28 to outlaw the sale of the widely used foam products made of polystyrene(also commonly called Styrofoam), which is the most extensive ban placed on the material in the US to date. Since 2007, when San Francisco initially banned polystyrene take-away containers, more than 100 cities have adopted similar rules, although still not to such an extent.
The ban will take effect in the beginning of 2017 and mainly concerns polystyrene food packaging, packing peanuts, take-away containers, coffee cups and pool toys. For meat and fish trays, it becomes effective on July 1, 2017. Just to clarify, the ban does not apply to trademarked Styrofoam products used for insulation and for construction materials.
Products made of polystyrene are commonly used – it is estimated that Americans use approximately 25 billion foam cups each year! However, they are non-biodegradable, and when it ends up in the ocean, the material breaks down too quickly, turning into microplastic that pollutes waterways and can harm animal life.
Source: Time Magazine