Styrofoam ban is officially passed

On May 29, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

It looks as though Styrofoam food containers will no longer be in use by this time next year.

It looks as though Styrofoam food containers will no longer be in use by this time next year. – Photo by Bobbie Toner

By Jim Clark

Although the ordinance won’t take effect until May 2014, the days of getting your hot drinks and food to go in expanded polystyrene cups and containers are definitely numbered.

The Board of Alderman voted unanimously in favor of imposing the ban on  polystyrene containers at their regular meeting last Thursday evening, after many months of study and debate.

Although the vote went completely in favor of the ban, the ordinance was not entirely free from controversy. Many food services companies and container manufacturers cited cost and inefficiency of polystyrene alternatives as having a negative impact on their profit margins and their ability to keep food and drinks hot and palatable for their customers.

It was also argued that polystyrene recycling programs could be implemented in place of imposing a full-scale ban. Proponents of the ordinance felt that the recycling approach was an impractical and unproven method for dealing with the Styrofoam waste issue.

The city intends to educate local businesses over the next year in ways to select alternative container materials.

Once the ban is in effect, businesses must eliminate the use of the Styrofoam containers or face fines of $300 per infraction. First offenders will be issued a warning, however.

The ban is primarily aimed at restaurants that package their goods for take out. It will not apply to uncooked foods like eggs and meat packaging.

Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz of Ward 6 said the she was thrilled with the passage of the ordinance. “I think that this is important.”



8 Responses to “Styrofoam ban is officially passed”

  1. Barry the Pig says:

    Yum! Melted poisonous plastic in your hot coffee! I’m gonna miss that.

  2. OhGoody says:

    Yay! Now we can all enjoy burned and scolded hands from coffee/food. But hey, we can sue Dunkins just like someone sued McDonalds, right?..thanks Alderman!

  3. Harry says:

    More nonsense from the PC gestapo.

  4. Steve Keenan says:

    What’s next-a ban on large volume soft drinks like Bloomberg did in New York? This is a bit much.

  5. A. Moore says:

    It is nice to know that our elected officials are now experts in what is good for us. Wonder when they had time to aquire all these new dgrees?

  6. Matt C says:

    Starbucks manages to get people to pay twice as much and have always used paper cups… And you don’t here many complaints about plastic in their coffee or burned hands…

  7. Darnell says:

    Yippee! Now I can sleep at night not having to worry about styrofoam. Plop,plop,fizz,fizz,oh what a relief it is!!

  8. Barry the Pig says:

    As Matt C pointed out, is Starbucks can use paper cups, everyone else can. Amazing how people choke in filth just because they get used to it and don’t want to change anything.

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