Santa Clara County Moving Toward a Styrofoam Ban

County leaders unanimously voted to encourage cities to ban styrofoam at all city events and facilities.

Saturday, Jan 14, 2012  |  Updated 3:40 PM PDT
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Styrofoam Ban?

The plastic material is harmful to local waterways and marine life.

City leaders from across Santa Clara County voted unanimously this week to move toward a regional ban on Styrofoam and other expanded polystyrene, or EPS, food containers.

The Cities Association of Santa Clara County voted 10-0 Thursday to encourage its 15 city and town councils to adopt policies banning the unsustainable food containers at all city facilities and events, according to a news release.

The county's Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission drafted the proposal to help eliminate "hidden costs to our cities and direct costs to our environment," Santa Clara Councilwoman and commission chair Jamie McLeod said.

The association's decision is also meant to spur the region's cities to launch public education campaigns about the plastic material's harmful effect on local waterways and marine life.

"By moving forward together on this issue, our region's cities can reduce the amount of polluting EPS in our creeks and bay and demonstrate to Sacramento and Washington that they should again follow Silicon Valley's lead in promoting environmental sustainability," San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo said in a statement.

Cities will also be encouraged to consider outlawing all EPS food and drink containers at businesses that sell food within their city limits.

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