Monday, February 18, 2013

Council discussion on styrofoam ban

From the city's Watershed Protection Division:
Many of you have expressed interest in and are following the City of San José’s environmental initiatives. As such, we’d like to share that on February 26, the San José City Council will consider whether to phase-out the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam food ware, commonly called “Styrofoam,” at all restaurants in the City of San José. This City is considering this action in order to address the problem of creek pollution caused by this unique and problematic pollutant.
EPS foam food containers have become a significant litter problem in our creeks. Foam containers tend to break into small pieces that fish and wildlife may mistake for food with harmful consequences. Foam pieces do not degrade over time and are very difficult to clean-up once it reaches the environment. If the Council approves the staff recommendation, the City will schedule public hearings this summer to approve and adopt an ordinance phasing-out EPS.

The staff report for the February 26 Council meeting is available at the following link:

The following attachments will also be presented to Council as background information:

Transportation & Environment Subcommittee Memo from December 3, 2012:

Survey of Single-Use Bag Ordinances:

Survey of CA EPS Ordinances:

Consultant’s Report of Economic Impact Analysis:

Consultant’s Report of EPS Alternatives Pricing:

As always, the City is very interested in hearing from our partners, including you, on the potential phase-out of EPS foam food service ware. Stakeholder feedback will help guide the implementation if approved. Additionally, we would seek to identify where our staff can provide technical assistance to businesses to assist in a smooth transition. You are welcome and encouraged to attend the February 26th meeting to voice your input.

Thank you all for your continued interest in this matter and your feedback is appreciated.

Napp Fukuda
Deputy Director - Watershed Protection Division
City of San José | Environmental Services Department
200 East Santa Clara Street – 7th Floor | San José, CA 95113
Tel: 408.793.5353 | Fax: 408.271.1930

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