Styrofoam Ban Begins In Oakland As Part Of Anti-Pollution Effort

Smoking, soda, Styrofoam.

The eco-unfriendly material found in takeout containers and party cups might be next on the shortlist to get slashed by the city.

One month before a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces begins, the city may have found its next target.

 

A sanitation official told reporters this week that the department will propose banning Styrofoam.

John McCarthy, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, told Metro, "We are always willing to take a look at new ways to reduce waste that can't be recycled or reused."

Bloomberg has in the past banned smoking in restaurants and parks, and he pushed for the soda ban, which begins in March.

Right now, the city refuses to recycle Styrofoam -- officials say it is too difficult.

But it can be found everywhere from garbage cans to in Brooklyn's toxic Gowanus Canal.

The Council has previously considered legislation that would ask restaurants not to use Styrofoam.

A Sanitation Department spokeswoman would not elaborate on whether the ban plan would stick to restaurants.

One place Styrofoam can be found daily? Public schools, where students use Styrofoam trays. Styrofoam Out of Schools, a group of parents and teachers, has long tried to replace the trays with more eco-friendly options.

In 2010, the city launched "Trayless Tuesdays," using paper containers that day instead of the 830,000 Styrofoam trays the city estimates are tossed every day.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison

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