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How Much Longer Will Foam Food Containers Be Around?

by:Greenweimo     2020-06-21
San Francisco, CA banned the use of Styrofoam food containers several years ago, and it looks like the state of California may soon follow suit. The reasons for this ban are many, but the basic problem is foam food containers do not biodegrade and will last indefinitely. No one knows for sure if your city is next, but the one thing that is certain is that every municipality is trying to find solutions to trash, recycling and composting issues to try and mitigate and reduce our waste problem. The City of Roseville, CA has come up with an interesting solution - they have all of their residents place their garbage in one container and yard waste in another. The garbage bins are dumped into a large sorting machine that is the size of a building, and there, machines and people sort all of the garbage so that about 70% of it is recycled or re-used. The yard waste is composted and sold back to consumers. There are government standards for compostability, ASTM D6868, which determines how quickly an item in a commercial compost facility must decompose, and the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certifies items as well. Both of these resources are good starting points for determining what items are easily and successfully composted. You can do this on a small scale by starting a composting pile or bin at your house and you'll find that many of the items that you discard everyday can be placed in the compost pile and in a short time contribute to the health of your garden. If you change your habits and start purchasing house hold items which can be easily composted, you can divert trash from your garbage cans and turn it into mulch for your flower beds. This is a very simple way for each consumer to solve their own city's problem of reducing the amount of waste that needs to be buried in a landfill. One group of items that can now be composted is tableware. It is probably a safe bet to say that even though a ban on foam food containers may not be an issue in your town today, it is one of many issues that is going to be discussed by your city council, state legislatures or county officials, and by being proactive in doing something you are helping to be a part of the solution and not the problem. Restaurants, grocery stores, school cafeterias and other food outlets can also contribute to the solution by composting their waste, offering compostable tableware products and educating consumers about the benefits of composting. See what you can do to get composting started in your town.
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