Restaurants and food vendors in Castro Valley have a little more freedom than their neighbors when it comes to serving take-out food. Local businesses can still dish up into foam boxes and bowls, while neighboring counties and cities have banned the use of polystyrene containers.
But Castro Valley may soon have to follow suit. A statewide bill would expand the ban on polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, beginning in 2016. State legislators are expected to vote on the bill at the end of this month, The Bay Citizen reports.
Proponents of the bill say that foam containers are an environmental hazard. They break into pieces easily, making clean up difficult and causing birds and other wildlife to mistake the foam for food. Polystyrene remnants also end up slipping down storm drains headed for the ocean.
The California Restaurant Association opposes the bill, claiming that it will be costly for restaurants to comply. In response, the bill is being amended to give restaurant owners who can prove financial hardship a yearlong extension before having to forgo the foam.
California would be the first state to impost a blanket ban on polystyrene. A number of East Bay counties and cities already have a ban in place, including Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Hercules, Livermore, Oakland, Richmond and San Leandro.
What do you think of the foam container ban? Should Castro Valley businesses stop using polystyrene? Share your thoughts below.