Los Angeles moves to phase out the use of Styrofoam

Los Angeles County is making an ambitious effort to phase out the use of Styrofoam. This week, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors preliminarily approved an ordinance that would require “all disposable food service ware provided with ready-to-eat food be either compostable or recyclable,” KTLA reports. This includes containers, cups, dishes, and utensils given out by restaurants, food trucks, and temporary food service providers like farmers markets (street vendors are exempt). The ordinance is expected to be approved at the board’s next meeting, but food businesses will have time to transition to new products. The push behind the effort is simple: Consumer goods packaging represents about 50 percent of all plastic packaging and of the nearly 30 million tons of waste generated by Angelenos each year, plastic waste is the largest contributor. It’s not a secret that plastic waste enters the food system, but given the new research that recently found plastic in the lungs of living people, it seems high time to ditch these products wherever possible. —Tina Vasquez 

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