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Litter impacts our communities and threatens water quality and wildlife in our local creeks and Bay. In 2009, 26 creeks in the Bay Area, including Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek in San José, were declared as impaired by trash by the State Water Resources Control Board. Since the ban was fully implemented, a 2015-2016 study by the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program suggests that the EPS ban has significantly reduced the volume of foam food service ware in the stormwater system. Foam Food Container Ordinance
Paper, other natural fibers, and rigid plastic do not present the same kind of litter problem for our creeks. Paper and natural fibers degrade and, thus, are not persistent in the environment. Rigid plastic is recyclable and highly durable but does not break apart the way EPS does.
Reducing the use of EPS foam food service ware will decrease the amount of this pollutant in our environment.
To cut costs, restaurants can switch to a cheaper type of food container. For example, a paper plate may work in place of a more expensive clam shell for dine-in. Restaurants can also reduce waste and cut costs by using reusable food service ware, such as metal cutlery for dine-in.
Additionally, restaurants can join cooperative organizations to purchase in bulk, which can decrease costs. Foam Food Container Alternatives and Pricing