If passed, California would be the first state to ban these popular — but problematic to our environment — foam “take-out” containers, starting in 2016.
Visit the Santa Cruz based Save Our Shores website to find out why polystyrene is a threat to our communities, including
- Polystyrene contains toxic chemicals that can leach out of the material into hot foods and beverages that humans consume
- In most cities, polystyrene cannot be recycled and it is not compostable
- Polystyrene never fully biodegrades and thus easily become litter, costing communities economically and environmentally.
We don’t have to wait until 2016!
There are alternatives and ideas to reduce litter and reduce take out packaging. The forward-thinking restaurant Gayles Bakery and Rosticceria — in business for over 30 years– has an environmental policy as well as tips to reduce food packaging on their website, such as:
- Bringing in your own bag, food containers or mug to restaurants where you plan to order take out items (or for leftovers you will want to take home)
- Letting your favorite restaurants know if they can can reduce their take-out packaging in any way.
- Reusing to go containers. You can wash the sturdy plastic to go containers and lids in the top rack of your dishwasher. Bring them in again, or reuse them for your brown bag lunch or office supplies.
- Recycle to go containers at home. Rinse the containers out thoroughly and put them in your recycle bin. If you can’t reuse the containers yourself, help to get them recycled into something else. Keep recylcables out of the landfill.
Please spread this message.