San Francisco passed a ban on the sale of Styrofoam. Starting in 2017, Styrofoam cups, plates, coolers, and those little squishy popcorn pieces in packages will be no more.
In the United States and Canada, the word styrofoam incorrectly refers to expanded (not extruded) polystyrene foam, such as disposable coffee cups, coolers, or cushioning material in packaging, which is typically white and is made of expanded polystyrene beads.
Polystyrene is a type of plastic manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals. It usually comes in two forms:
- Expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), which is the stuff that’s made into cups, plates, take-out food containers, and packing materials; and
- Solid polystyrene, which gets turned into plastic utensils, CD cases, etc.
The bill’s sponsors argued that such foam products, which are not biodegradable, pollute waterways and can harm animal life. That’s because Styrofoam causes one of environmental nightmares. Instead of decomposing, it breaks apart into tiny pieces that end up floating around.
This ban could encourage a lot of other big cities to ditch the white cups as well. They touted the ban as an example of the city’s leadership on environmental issues.
Here’s a list of cities in the USA that have completely or partially banned Styrofoam.
- Freeport, Maine
- Los Angeles County
- Miami Beach, FL
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Nantucket, Massachusetts
- New York City
- Portland, Maine
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Takoma Park, MD
- Washington DC
Do you think is time to push more of these bans in other countries?