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Business Materials Regulation

San Fran enacts ban on polystyrene product sales from 2017.

Credit : Chris Caravello/Flickr  ( science is clear: this stuff is an environmental and public health pollutant, and we have to reduce its use.”

San Franciscans, its time to say farewell to polystyrene, the petroleum-based compound that’s molded into countless disposable items. From January 1st 2017, the sale of products made from it will be illegal in the Californian city after legislation was unanimously approved by itsBoard of Supervisors. More than 100 US cities have ordinances restricting polystyrene food service ware and/or packaging materials. San Francisco itself has prohibited serving food in polystyrene since 2007.

And this is the most extensive legislation yet on the material, commonly known in the US by its name-brand owned by Dow, Styrofoam. Polystyrene cannot be recycled through San Franciscos blue bin recycling collection program and essentially never decomposes. It is a significant source of litter on land and one of the most significantelements of rising plastic pollution in thesea.

The legislation introduced by Board of Supervisors President London Breed in April and improved last week, includes a ban on the sale of Styrofoam: 1) cups, plates, clamshells, meat trays, egg cartons, and other food ware; 2) packing materials, including packing peanuts; 3) coolers; 4) pool and beach toys; and 5) dock floats, buoys, and other marine products, as well as a ban on the use of Styrofoam packing material for items packaged in San Francisco, a city at the forefront of sustainable development, and the host of Bio-Based Live on September 26th-27th.

We are a city prized for our natural beauty, surrounded by water on three sides. We have a moral, a public health, and frankly a financial responsibility to protect ourselves from pollutants like polystyrene foam. said President Breed on the introduction of the bill.

Polystyrene breaks down into smaller, non-biodegradable pieces that seabirds often mistake for fish eggs. And unlike harder plastics, polystyrene contains a chemical used in its production called styrene that is metabolized after ingestion and threatens the entire food chain, including humans who eat contaminated marine wildlife. Styrene is linked to cancer and developmental disorders, and according to the US FDA, it leaches into food and drink from polystyrene food ware.

London_Breed.gifThe science is clear: this stuff is an environmental and public health pollutant, and we have to reduce its use, said President Breed, pictured left. There are ample cost effective alternatives to Styrofoam on the market.

San Francisco will once again be at the forefront, said President Breed. We will replace hazardous products with compostable, recyclable ones. We will continue our work toward Zero Waste. And we will protect the public health and the natural beauty of our waterways and wildlife.

President Breed ( @LondonBreed)worked closely with the San Francisco Department of the Environment, the nonprofit Sustainable San Francisco, the California Grocers Association, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, as well as many local and international businesses. The legislation is also designed to try to help businesses comply and accommodate those who cannot yet.

Bio-Based Live is coming to San Francisco onSeptember 26-27 2016, confirmed speakers include: DSM, Genomatica, Anellotech,Korres Natural Products,Braskem,Allbirds and many more,for all the latest information and to find out how you can become involved, contact

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