California Eliminating Polystyrene Foam Takeout Packaging

Approximately 1,369 tons of polystyrene foam goes into U.S. landfills daily. By volume, polystyene foam takes up 25 to 30 percent of total landfill area. These figures make it one of the most environmentally unfriendly types of waste around.

Big cities in California such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Huntington Beach have banned the use of polystyrene foam takeout packaging. You can now add Salinas to the list. Salinas city council banned the containers at a 6-1 vote on August 16th which will officially go into effect February 12, 2012. The law also extends into banning all disposable food serviceware including plates, cups, bowls, trays, cup lids, straws, utensils, etc. The law will apply to all establishments that sell or provide prepared food for takeout.

There are a total of 39 bans on polystyrene takeout packaging in California. Los Angeles has bans in place at citywide facilities and events. A bill will be voted on by the state on August 25th that looks to phase out polystyrene takeout packaging statewide by 2016.

Various cities up the West Coast including Seattle and Portland have also banned these containers. If packaging companies are slow to evolve into the new world of sustainable packaging, they most likely will be forced to by law to help preserve the environment. It’s no question that our eco-conscious society is changing the dynamics of the industry.

Repurposing Packaging Materials

It’s been said that 30 percent of all garbage is packaging…but who says packaging has to be garbage?  many forms of packaging can be recycled, such as cardboard, paper, glass, and some plastics.  But there still are other options if the packaging is not recyclable.  It can be reused again or re-purposed to do something else.

Rodney had the idea to re-purpose one of the most un-eco materials around, Styrofoam, into stunning lamps.

It’s amazing where a little creativity can get you.