Ready or Not, San Rafael Styrofoam Ban to go into Effect This Week
The City Council approved the ban more than a year ago.
The days of picking up hot coffee and cold smoothies in Styrofoam cups from San Rafael retail vendors are just about over.
A polystyrene ban approved by the City Council last year will go into effect on Thursday.
The ban affects all food vendors include cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, and hotel eateries, among others.
The City Council approved the ban in September 2012.
"This is one step forward to addressing zero waste," said Bill Carney, head of advocacy group Sustainable San Rafael in an interview with Patch shortly after the ban was enacted.
Polystyrene is a non-renewable petroleum-based material that environmentalists say sits in landfills for decades; clogs storm drains and contains carcinogens.
Scientific evidence supports many of those claims.
“The environmental impacts of polystyrene production in the categories of energy consumption, greenhouse gas effect, and total environmental effect ranks second highest, behind aluminum,” a Harvard study says.
“Polystyrene is a principle component of urban litter and marine debris. It is detrimental to wildlife that ingests it.”