San Carlos Considers a Ban on Styrofoam and Plastic Bags.
February 15, 2012
Ban in the Works.
By now you've probably heard or read that the City Council of San Carlos is seriously considering banning the use of polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) containers, as well as the use of plastic bags for all businesses within the city limits. The ban will seek to eliminate the use of those Styrofoam containers that are used for restaurant take-out (or the venerable doggie bag), and other food-related purposes. And those ubiquitous plastic bags that we've all grown so accustomed to at the grocery store or the drug store may also be history if the Council decides to go down this path, which is looking more and more likely.
From the discussions that have taken place during the Council meetings, along with comments that have been made in the press, it seems like it's not a matter of if a ban will be enacted, but more like how and when it will take place. What remains to be decided are the specifics. According to this article in the Daily Journal, the City may opt to create its own ordinance or dovetail into a similar ordinance in the works with San Mateo County.
Either way it goes, it's probably not a bad idea.
Environment Outweighs Convenience.
The plastic bags in question are the featherweight ones that inevitably end up blowing all around town on windy days if they're not disposed of properly. And since Recology does not recycle Styrofoam, both of these products end up becoming a major element of our landfill. Since neither of these decompose very quickly, they'll still be in the landfill long after you and I (and our take-out food) have long left the planet. And that's not a good thing.
The inconvenience of such a ban should be minimal. Many restaurants (like Chipotle) already use a compostable paper-based container for take-out (even the aluminum lid is recyclable). And between the reusable grocery bags that you see at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, and the classic paper bags that can be re-used and recycled, the loss of the plastic bag should be a non-event.
What Do You Think?
Although it seems like a city-wide ban is likely, several members of the City Council want to gather more input from the public. So on that note, what do you think about possibly banning Styrofoam and plastic bags from the City of San Carlos? Vote in the new poll at the top of the site, and register your comments below…