Menlo Park, Calif. Bans Polystyrene Foodware

Menlo Park, Calif. Bans Polystyrene Foodware

Menlo Park, California, Aug. 31, 2012 (PBBR) - Effective November 1st, all food vendors in the city of Menlo Park, will be prohibited from dispensing prepared food in polystyrene containers.

On Tuesday, August 28th the Menlo Park City Council adopted San Mateo County’s Polystyrene Food Ware Ordinance. The ordinance applies to all food merchants in the City and prohibits restaurants, delis, cafes, markets, fast-food establishments, vendors at fairs, and food trucks from dispensing prepared food in polystyrene containers.

Polystyrene containers are often incorrectly identified as Styrofoam products. STYROFOAM™ is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Corp. and is used specifically in the manufacture of foam building insulation. Polystyrene food containers can be identified by harder type plastics that are labeled number six.

The ordinance does not:

  • Prohibit the use of polystyrene for pre-packaged foods (e.g., pre-packaged meats or eggs in markets)
  • Apply to non-food businesses that use polystyrene for packaging
  • Include polystyrene lids, straws, or utensils

The Federal Clean Water Act requires the City of Menlo Park to reduce the litter contaminating storm drains and waterways by 40% by 2014. “The Polystyrene Food Ware Ordinance is a cost-effective way to comply with these regulations while protecting wildlife and habitat, and reducing waste sent to the landfill,” said Rebecca Fotu, Environmental Programs Manager for the City.

More information on Menlo Park's Polystyrene Ordinance can be found by visiting the Public Works Dept.

To understand more about the ordinance, see San Mateo County Polystyrene Ordinance.

Cover photo: Facebook Headquarters, Menlo Park, California. Author: Jitze Couperous. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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