Eco-Cycle, November 6, 2005


[Rachel's introduction: Many communities have taken a precautionary approach to the sale of plastic products that can create serious problems after they have been discarded.]

[RPR introduction: This summary comes to us from Eco-Cycle in Boulder, Colorado, which has been providing innnovate solutions to waste since 1976.]

Polystyrene -- Berkeley, CA: 1988

No restaurant shall provide prepared food to its customers in any polystyrene foam food packaging, nor shall any restaurant purchase, obtain or keep any polystyrene foam food packaging for such purpose. At least fifty percent by volume of each restaurant's food packaging, in which prepared food is provided to customers, or which is kept, purchased, or obtained for this purpose, shall be degradable or recyclable.

Polystyrene -- Freeport, ME: January 1990

No retail food vendor shall serve or sell prepared food and no food packager shall package meat, eggs, bakery products or other food in polystyrene foam (PSF) containers. No vendor in the town of Freeport who sells tangible personal property at retail shall sell polystyrene foam food or beverage containers.

Polystyrene and Polyvinyl Chloride -- Suffolk County, NY: March 1988

No retail food establishment located and doing business within the county of Suffolk shall sell, give or provide individual eating utensils, individual food containers or other packaging to any consumers within the county of Suffolk if such individual eating utensil or individual food container is composed of polystyrene or polyvinyl chloride. This subsection applies only to eating utensils, food containers or other packaging which is added to or placed with a food product at the site of the retail food establishment.

Polystyrene -- Sonoma County, CA: June 1989

In order to prevent litter and protect human health and the health of the environment, the county prohibits the sale, possession, or distribution of polystyrene food packaging at all county-owned facilities.

Polystyrene -- Portland, OR: March 1989

No restaurant or retail food vendor shall serve prepared food in any polystyrene foam container. No packager shall package meat, eggs, bakery products or other food in polystyrene foam containers manufactured with CFCs.

Plastic Packaging -- St. Paul, MN: January 1991

No retail food establishment shall sell, convey, or possess food or beverage placed, wrapped, or packaged at any time in packaging that is not environmentally friendly. Environmentally-acceptable packaging is defined as recyclable or returnable. Exceptions to the policy are made for medical purposes, paper packaging coated with plastics, when no commercial alternative is available, etc.

Food Packaging -- Pittsburg, CA, January 1993

By January 1993, at least 25 percent of the volume of all take-out food packaging used by a restaurant must be returnable or recyclable. By January 1995, the required volume increases to a minimum of 50 percent. Restaurants must phase out the use of CFC-produced polystyrene and are encouraged to purchase packaging from post- consumer recycled materials. The enforcement takes place during the annual renewal of the business license (8.06.200 and 210). Sources: here and here.

Comprehensive Plastics Policy -- Berkeley, CA: June 2000

The city of Berkeley believes first and foremost that the manufacturers and producers of plastic products and packaging must take some form of stewardship over their material. This includes designing products to be reused or recycled, using recycled material in their products, and supporting the recycling infrastructure. The city supports bottle-to-bottle recycling and the reduction of plastics packaging through reusable materials. The city of Berkeley will promote and encourage source reduction and recycling of plastics, and the purchase of products containing recycled materials by all city departments and contractors.