Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ice green

"Santa Monica city officials, hoping to put an end to the blight of discarded take-out boxes and beverage cups on their beach, are gearing up to implement a ban on nonrecyclable foam and plastic early next year.

Facing a Feb. 9 deadline, most of Santa Monica's restaurants have switched to biodegradable food containers. For many, however, the switch has been a struggle, with some small-business owners saying they are still scrambling to find affordable material to replace cheap polystyrene, or plastic foam.

The prices could be crippling to smaller businesses, such as Sparky's Frozen Yogurt Shop on Main Street. Tommy Makino, who owns and runs the small shop alone, said he recently spoke to a paper distributor about switching out the shop's plastic and polystyrene cups." (thanks D.)

1 comment:

Leila Abu-Saba said...

Complainers. Oakland implemented this ban last year. My college immediately began serving takeout food in glitzy "plastic" containers made of potato starch.

Of course, that's just taking food out of the mouths of people who need to eat potatos.

Why can't we go back to dishes? Takes water to wash them, but it takes water to produce throw-away containers.

Occasionally you will see an earnest Berkeley type bring in a crockery bowl or plate to a taqueria or other restaurant, get his food put on it, sit down, eat, then cart the plate away with him. This takes real dedication. And yet the amount of energy we waste on wrapping and cartons and paper/plastic/styrofoam dishware every day is just horrifying.

Bringing one's own coffee mug to cafes is easier and therefore I see it more frequently.

Anyway - people and businesses do adapt. Mills College food service in Oakland now has lovely three-bin trash receptacles, with pictures above each slot showing you what sort of item goes where: compost includes tea bags as well as veggies; recyclables includes your paper coffee cup; straight trash means those foil potato chip bags and bits of plastic cling-wrap.