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US city to restrict use of polystyrene foam packaging

San Jose, California City Council is set to restrict the use of polystyrene foam packaging for serving food. The ordinance would ban the use of such packaging by restaurants and other local foodservice operators.

The actions of the City Council is said to leave the city with no plans for recycling nearly all types of foodservice and take-out packaging.

Residents will be directed to throw paper and other take-out packaging into the garbage, excluding clear plastic take-out containers.

American Chemistry Council in Sacramento senior director Tim Shestek said that this is a real step backward for recycling.

"The City Council’s vote would lead to prohibiting packaging that’s collected in curbside recycling programs elsewhere in California and replacing it with packaging that is thrown in the garbage," Shestek added.

According to a 2011 life-cycle study, polystyrene foam foodservice packaging uses less energy and water to manufacture and creates less waste by weight and comparable waste by volume.