- On Tuesday, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation that will completely ban the sale of Styrofoam in the city — creating the most extensive ban in the country. This includes food packaging, fish and meat trays, coffee cups, beach toys, dock floats, and mooring buoys. Some exemptions to the ban are listed here.
- Noncompliant companies will face fines ranging from $100 for the first violation to $500 for the third and each violation that follows.
- The ban will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, but for fish and meat trays it will not become effective until July 1, 2017, according to Time.
This ban is an extension of the city's already existent ban on Styrofoam food packaging which went into effect in 2007. By cracking down even harder on the use of Styrofoam, the city hopes set an example that will eventually ban the product statewide.
However not everybody is on board with the new prohibitions, and some groups have threatened to take legal action against the city. Betsy Steiner, spokeswoman for EPS Alliance in Maryland, said to NBC, "I'm appalled ... We're opposed to the plan. There are serious errors in their statistical representation." Steiner claims that the city did not take any data from opposing groups into consideration when passing the legislation.
The debate over the recyclability of Styrofoam is not new and has been highly debated in cities and states nationwide. Recently in New York City, a ban on Styrofoam was put in place then later overturned by a judge who called the ban "arbitrary and capricious," requesting that the city find ways to recycle the material.
In San Francisco, however, it looks as though leaders are standing firm in their decision to keep Styrofoam out of waste streams. "This ordinance is one of the strongest in the country protecting both the environment and public health," said Guillermo Rodriguez, spokesman for San Francisco's Department of the Environment, to NBC. "The ordinance is a good model for other local governments to follow."