Contra Costa Supervisors To Discuss Possible Polystyrene Container Ban

December 4, 2018 8:00 am · 31 comments

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors may follow the lead of at least eight cities in the county and direct staff to draw up an ordinance that would ban polystyrene food and drink containers.

At today’s regular meeting, the supervisors will consider asking for an ordinance banning such containers. Also possible is that the supervisors could ask for banning more than food containers. Richmond and San
Pablo, for instance, also ban non-food-related polystyrene products like ice chests and packaging material including packing “peanuts.”

More than 100 other California cities and counties have some form of a polystyrene ban. In July, the Concord City Council voted to prohibit polystyrene cups, bowls, plates, “clamshell” takeout containers and serving
trays. Such polystyrene material can be difficult to recycle and adds to the overall waste stream in an era where the goal is to reduce the volume of material taken to landfills.

Such an ordinance would come at a cost. Developing the ordinance could cost $75,000, with an annual cost of $25,000 to enforce an ordinance that includes only food containers. Expenses would also be incurred by county
departments, including the Sheriff’s Department and the county hospital and related medical clinics.

The supervisors’ Transportation, Water and Infrastructure Committee recommends the county create and adopt an ordinance covering only food-related containers, at least for the time being.

D moore December 4, 2018 at 8:10 AM

Your board of supervisors are idiots… Do they not have something better to do with their time that might better serve Contra Costa county?

Good Health December 4, 2018 at 10:45 AM

Styrofoam polystyrene is bad for your health. It gives off a gas that paper products don’t. And it doesn’t decompose in a land fill and can’t be recycled !!!! Google it.

Nunya December 4, 2018 at 4:12 PM


and to GH, don’t eat the GD things,moron.

nytemuvr December 4, 2018 at 6:28 PM

I understand that Beano will take care of that off-gasing problem… I repeat…

Law Dog December 4, 2018 at 8:12 AM

Even more control over you by your friendly Democratic party.

The Mamba December 4, 2018 at 8:35 AM

They are out there fixing problems we didn’t know we had!

Ricardoh December 4, 2018 at 9:26 AM

One useless democrat bill after another. Have you ever talked to a democrat. They either have their heads filled with global warming, giving everyone a minimum wage even if they don’t try at the game of life, they are worried about plastic straws, or they are blank about everything and vote like their parents.

Reason December 4, 2018 at 9:37 AM

This is a good thing. People don’t think about their trash and the havoc it wreaks on the environment after they put it in the bin and Republic comes and takes it away. It’s not all about protecting the Delta smelt. It’s about protecting people too. Do you want clean water and safe soil? Do you want your food to be contaminated with toxins? There’s no good way to dispose of polystyrene. It’s not rational to dump it in a hole in the ground– obviously it’s going to decompose and get in the groundwater.

Ricardoh December 4, 2018 at 10:22 AM

Have you ever seen the things that get dumped in a hole in the ground? I thought not.

Reason December 4, 2018 at 11:27 AM


Reason December 4, 2018 at 11:28 AM


They get taken to the landfill, i.e. the whole in the ground.

Cowellian December 4, 2018 at 11:36 AM

The whole hole?

Ricardoh December 4, 2018 at 2:46 PM

Not the whole hole just half of the whole hole.

Cowellian December 4, 2018 at 5:22 PM

Oh! The whole halfhole!

nytemuvr December 4, 2018 at 6:14 PM

“Holy halfhole Batman!”

Law Dog December 4, 2018 at 10:04 AM

What’s going to be next, outlaw adult disposal diapers and mandate cotton reusable’s. Get ready Baby Boomers it’s coming.

Randy December 4, 2018 at 10:05 AM

The plastic bag ban worked out. Don’t see them on fences or in gutters.

Sandy G. December 4, 2018 at 11:37 AM

You obviously haven’t driven on hwy 4 lately

Sign from Above December 4, 2018 at 1:58 PM

@ Randy

Hello! Have you been to the store lately? The plastic bags are not “banned”. They’re just charging you for them now! Where’s that money going to? Just another way to tax the California citizen. If they were so bad, they would have been “banned” and stores would have been forced to use paper bags. That being said, why are we being forced to pay for paper bags as well? Are they bad too? No! Again, it’s just another underhanded way to steal from the citizens.

Captain Bebops December 4, 2018 at 10:42 AM

The problem with polystyrene has been known for some time. It’s been too convenient and cheap to put food and drink in these containers. And many companies will just reorder without a thought. Non polystyrene products for restaurants have been available for some time. I know one local take out which gave me a meal in one. Next to replace those plastic forks and knives and there have been replacements for those too.

It’s a crying shame what we have to throw away into our garbage cans because it isn’t recyclable such as plasticized paper bags that contain things like chips. All big business cares about is making as much money as possible for their stockholders and to hell with the environment.

Original G December 4, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Can the mandate all take out must be wrapped in Banana leaves be far off?

Jojo Potato December 4, 2018 at 11:49 AM

Best take out/roadside food I ever had was wrapped in Banana leaves. 100% biodegradable. Passed on the monkey though but Fante Kenke with a pepper sauce is to die for. .

Sign from Above December 4, 2018 at 2:03 PM

This is California. Soon we’ll be wrapping our take out in hemp leaves!

Led December 4, 2018 at 12:12 PM

California is generally way over-regulated, but I have no problem with a ban on these things. Good alternatives are readily available.

Captain Bebops December 4, 2018 at 12:32 PM

They should probably go with incentives not bans. But, oh boy, incentives are usually tax breaks and guvmint’ bureaucrats can’t stand that.

ZZ December 4, 2018 at 12:57 PM
Original G December 4, 2018 at 1:51 PM

In not to distant future garbage landfills could be excavated cleaned up and generate electricity via high energy plasma.

“High-Powered Plasma Turns Garbage Into Gas”

“A safer, cleaner, more cost-effective alternative to landfill and incineration”

Unfortunately CA would be the last to embrace this technology for a couple reasons, tree hugger paranoia and campaign contributions from those profiting from garbage industry in CA to politicians.

WC Resident December 4, 2018 at 1:55 PM

I’m partial to things wrapped in corn husks which are more available in this area than banana leaves. Banana leaves are larger and so are useful for things such as a whole chicken, side of ham, family size serving of rice and/or beans, etc.

As a child one of my relatives used to give us kids candy wrapped in Japanese rice paper. That always fascinated me as I could eat the paper along with the candy. I see that the Vietnamese use it too, and for more than just candy, and call it bánh tráng.

me December 4, 2018 at 2:29 PM

This ban would also be good for the waterways. Polystyrene won’t decompose (in our lifetime) and breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. It’s light and can easily be blown around. So even if properly disposed, it can get blown onto the street or sidewalk. It will then end up in the gutter where it can be washed into the storm drain. Since the storm drain directs water untreated to the a local creek/river it will end up in the bay and ocean. Banning the use of it in the first place stops the chain. Better alternatives are out there. The plastic bag ban is based on the same premise.

Rob December 4, 2018 at 4:34 PM

Yes, ban that crap – many other communities have done it successfully.

Rich December 4, 2018 at 6:18 PM

Why would it cost this $75,000? There are 100 cities already that have this ordinance. Borrow a couple of copies have the public hearings and get it done…

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