California restaurant owner says business will suffer if state bans plastic foam containers

There are many voices in the debate on whether to ban plastic foam containers from California restaurants and take-out counters.

Yesterday, Associated Press reporter Sheila Kumar gave small businesses a well-deserved opportunity to speak for themselves on the issue.

In Kumar’s article, you’ll hear from concerned restaurant owner Gary Honeycutt, who says Sen. Alan Lowenthal’s (D-CA) proposed bill to ban polystyrene foam containers could cost him and other food service providers thousands of dollars in added expenses.

ACC’s Tim Shestek, quoted in the article, thinks good paying manufacturing jobs at California-based companies that make polystyrene containers could also disappear if this bill is passed.

Photo via Politico.com

Click here to read the article.

Calif. would be first state to ban foam containers

Associated Press

Restaurant owner Gary Honeycutt says a push in California’s state Legislature to ban the plastic foam containers he uses to serve up takeout meals could cost him thousands of dollars in an industry where profit margins already are razor thin.

BJ’s Kountry Kitchen, in the heart of California’s farm country, uses about 26,000 of the 9-inch foam clamshells a year, mostly for takeout by the customers who come in for the restaurant’s popular breakfast omelets.

“We put cheese on those omelets. And when we put the cheese on, it’s really hot and bubbly and it goes right through the biodegradable stuff,” he said. He expects his costs would more than double if the state requires him to use only biodegradable cartons.

The bill by Democratic state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, would prohibit restaurants, grocery stores and other vendors from dispensing food in expanded polystyrene containers, commonly known as Styrofoam, beginning in 2016. If signed into law, the measure would make California the first to institute a statewide ban on such containers. More than 50 California cities and counties already have similar bans.

The bill would exempt school districts and city and county jurisdictions if they implemented programs that recycled more than 60 percent of their foam waste.

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