Most Styrofoam Banned In S.F. Restaurants
Jun. 1 - KGO (KGO) -- If you're dining or drinking on the go in San Francisco, the containers holding the goods will no longer look the same. San Francisco has gone green and new legislation has banned Styrofoam. The law takes effect today.
The city of Berkeley did it in 1990 and Oakland did it in January. Starting today, San Francisco is banning restaurants from using Styrofoam containers.
Last November, the Board of Supervisors decided the polystyrene containers used to hold food to go must also go in order to reduce the effect on the environment. The ordinance requires restaurants to use biodegradable, compostable or recyclable containers. Right now, these types of containers are slightly more expensive than the Styrofoam counterparts, but at least some restaurant owners say the cost savings will be realized over the long term.
Kauna Lei, relative of deli owner: "In terms of being environmentally friendly, it's a bigger benefit to the environment than buying Styrofoam. Because in the long run, if you were to recycle both of these, it would cost more as well to recycle the Styrofoam than it would for the cardboard."
The new ban will affect about 3,400 restaurants in the city. So far, owners from 10 percent of them have attended workshops that show them the various alternatives to Styrofoam. Those are mostly paper products.
Restaurants that don't comply face a $100 dollar fine for their first offense. A second offense is a $200 dollar fine and subsequent violations will cost $250 dollars.
It remains unclear how the city will enforce this ordinance.
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