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Ordinance to ban Styrofoam Take-Out Containers

The Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority is urging that County government and incorporated towns ban the use of Styrofoam in takeout food containers.

In January 2010, the Solid Waste board of directors voted 5-0 to approve a model ordinance based on similar laws that exist in 27 California cities.

The Solid Waste Authority's ordinance also looks to urge voluntary use of Styrofoam substitutes in place of packing peanuts and block Styrofoam.

For the ban to go into effect, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the cities will have to approve the ban. 

Polystyrene or "Styrofoam" has taken criticism for more than 20 years as an environmental pollutant and potential health hazard when used for foods and beverages.

Styrofoam cannot be recycled and is a troublesome component of litter due to it breaking up into small pieces that can be carried by wind and water.

Substitutes for Styrofoam include coated paper, sugar can fiber or other materials.

A 2008 survey of litter in San Francisco indicated that a Styrofoam ban had reduced the occurrence of Styrofoam in litter by 36 percent.

To find out more information or support a ordinance in your area, you can email your information to


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