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Contra Costa County Votes To Ban Styrofoam Products

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) -- The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted on a styrofoam ban on Tuesday. The move makes Contra Costa the last county in the Bay Area to enforce such a ban, which could include more than just food containers.

Tuesday's vote was to create an ordinance outlawing polystyrene disposable products, such as to-go boxes and cups.

"They aren't biodegradable. Time to look for other methods to store and transport food," said Karen Mitchoff, a Contra Costa County supervisor.

Styrofoam containers are also common culprits in waterway pollution and litter.

The motion passed unanimously, but the county knows there will be some growing pains among the restaurant community, especially since being environmentally-conscious isn't always budget-friendly.

Jennifer Zandonella of Zandonella Catering said that it will be hurt to replace the large amount of styrofoam plates, cups and containers used in her business because the alternatives are "definitely more expensive."

The county estimates that the ban will cost about $100,000 to implement and enforce, paid for by Storm Water Utility Assessment funds.

Even though the change won't be easy or cheap for anyone, Zandonella said that it's a worthwhile change.

"Yes, if we get to live longer on the Earth, I guess so."

"We need to make this change if we're going to have a sustainable world for our children and our grandchildren to live in," said supervisor Mitchoff.


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