Contact: For Immediate Release
Cory Bytof 415-485-3407
SAN RAFAEL’S FOAM TAKEOUT FOOD CONTAINER BAN GOES INTO EFFECT 10/31/13
San Rafael, CA, October 11, 2013 - - San Rafael’s polystyrene foam takeout food container ordinance goes into effect on October 31st. This ordinance affects retail food vendors, including restaurants, delis, cafes, food trucks, and any business offering takeout food in San Rafael. Food vendors will no longer be allowed to offer takeout food in containers made of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS, such as STYROFOAMTM Brand or other). Some items, such as food pre-packaged outside of San Rafael, raw meats and fish, and foam coolers are exempt.
The ordinance was passed by the San Rafael City Council in October 2012 in order to reduce the impacts of litter on the environment and for public health reasons, among other things. Foam takeout food containers are generally not recyclable, and can easily break into small pieces that can blow out of trash receptacles becoming litter. Foam products are not biodegradable and purportedly last for thousands of years in the environment. In addition, there are possible negative health effects associated with EPS. This ban is in accordance with the City’s Climate Change Action Plan, adopted in 2009.
"By complying with the ban, food vendors are helping keep San Rafael clean and environmentally friendly," says Damon Connolly, San Rafael City Council member and chair of the Sustainability Subcommittee. For a list of alternative products, to find out how to make the switch from foam to other materials, or for more information on the ban, including what is exempt, please visit www.cityofsanrafael.org/foam.
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