Walnut Creek outlaws Styrofoam containers in restaurants, upholds plastic bag ban

Diners at Walnut Creek restaurants will soon stop carting home takeout meals and leftovers in Styrofoam containers or plastic bags.

The Walnut Creek City Council voted Tuesday night to outlaw Styrofoam-based disposable foodware for all food purveyors and upheld an earlier vote to include restaurants in the plastic bag ban.

The ban on plastic bags will be effective beginning Sept. 18 at grocery and other stores and on Dec. 18 at restaurants. The Styrofoam ban will go into effect on the same day.

Under the ordinance, food vendors in the city will instead be asked to use reusable or paper bags instead of plastic and to opt for reusable materials, plastic, aluminum or paper food containers in place of Styrofoam.

Several restaurateurs have spoken out against the proposed ban in recent months, saying that using paper bags and non-Styrofoam food service-ware will cost more and hurt their businesses.

However, city staff said they have conducted extensive outreach to ensure food vendors know about the impending bans and have found that most business owners are willing to do away with plastic.

Of 60 locally or regionally owned restaurants in Walnut Creek surveyed over the past month, 87% said they would be willing to swap plastic for paper bags, while 92% of the 64 franchised or nationally owned eateries indicated their willingness to switch, according to a city staff report.

Retailers who don't comply with the plastic bag ordinance could face fines of $100 for the first violation, $200 for a second violation within the same 12 months and $500 for additional violations, according to city staff.

The plastic and Styrofoam bans stemmed from the finding that plastic bags were a leading source of pollution on the city's streets and in its creek beds.

Walnut Creek follows more than 90 California cities and counties that have enacted a plastic bag ban.

— Bay City News Service


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MGM
a resident of Danville
on May 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

I wish Danville would do the same!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 23, 2014 at 10:44 am

WOW...MGM from Danville...I am not surprised to hear from the naive folks of Danville...I see they are still using their head for a hat rack.

And for Walnut Creek and their stupid ord...Good Lucky...You city council have no clue what pollution really is...

I hope many change their shopping habits...

Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini from Alamo.

I know all the liberals are loving all this governmental control...

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Good move .. wish other cities would follow suit. There are plenty of effective and affordable alternatives.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dickita P
a resident of Alamo
on May 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

Too true Julia! I guess you also saw that Sean Hannity report about how disposable objects made from petroleum are, unlike what those idiot PhD-wielding smartypants ecologists would have you believe, good for the environment and not a problem worth dealing with! In fact, we should all be eating 2-3 plastic bags a day!

I'm loving this new diet you might be interested in - it's a 5 days bleach cleanse! Just 5 days of drinking bleach to detoxify your cells! Don't listen to those stupid liberal warnings on the container - that's just the Nazi-like nanny state thinking it knows better than a good ol' Alamo resident!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dickita Q
a resident of Alamo
on May 27, 2014 at 9:35 am

Isn't that also called the Michael Jackson Diet?

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