Late last week, California’s legislature shelved a bill that would ban the use of polystyrene, or styrofoam, containers throughout the state. Assembly Bill 1358, sponsored by Representatives Jerry Hill and Petro Nava, was headed to the floor for a vote, but was pulled due to concerns of the job loss impact on polystyrene manufacturers.
The bill, which would be the first statewide ban in the country, is aimed to reduce the amount of nonbiodegradable plastics that inevitably end up in landfills and water ways. Members of the California Restaurant Association met with legislative representatives to voice their worries that the ban would also negatively impact already-strained restaurant owners unable to afford the more expensive compostable and biodegradable containers needed to replace the styrofoam.
Despite the delay, nearly 30 cities and counties in California have already initiated bans on the toxic packaging.