Pasadena, California, is further extending its foam ban to include all restaurants starting August 22nd. Their initial ban mandated that all city facilities and events discontinue the use of polystyrene foam products such as cups, containers, and plates.
Pasadena’s City Council is giving food providers one year to find alternative products to the popular foam takeout containers and coffee cups. However, finding alternatives to polystyrene foam can be very expensive, resulting in as much as $20,000 extra cost a year for restaurant owners.
A local Mexican restaurant, El Metate, switched from foam takeout containers to cardboard products, with costly results. Employee Alan Muro states that the owners are starting to feel the impact. “Little by little, it adds up.”
Pasadena says that the reason it wants to ban polystyrene is because none of the city’s trash haulers provide recycling. However, Chamber of Commerce President Paul Little said that they did indeed locate a recycling company that was willing to recycle polystyrene, but officials decided to move forward with a ban.
“They’re having to deal with increased costs across the board and they’re not seeing any sympathy from any of the government entities on any of this stuff, so there is a level of frustration from that,” Little said.
Banning foam takeout containers will not result in better recycling habits. Individuals will dispose of alternative products in the same way they did the banned item. These individuals need educational programs to teach them the benefits of recycling so that cities can work towards a waste-free society together.