2008-03-13 / Front Page

Calabasas Styrofoam a wrap

Ban goes into effect this month
By Joann Groff joann@theacorn.com

By Joann Groff  joann@theacorn.com

Restaurants and retail food establishments have until the end of the month to comply with a new law that bans polystyrene food packaging in Calabasas.

The city ordinance, which was passed last year, prohibits retail food establishments and other vendors from using the packaging material commonly known as Styrofoam.

The ordinance will reduce nondegradable litter and encourage the use of recyclable packaging, city officials said.

Dana Blackburn, who works in the Calabasas environmental services division, said the city has been sending out educational information to businesses all year long.

"It's definitely been a long process," Blackburn said. "We had to give them enough time to use up what (polystyrene products) they had. But we are sure now that they know what to do."

The restriction includes all food-related wrappings, boxes, coverings and containers, cups, plates and trays. It excludes knives, forks, spoons, lids, straws and materials used to package unprepared food.

Alternatives that can be used include bio-plastics made of corn, paper and plant pulp.

Blackburn said every business to which the ordinance applies has been notified and has acknowledged their understanding of the ordinance.

Certification forms were sent out this week to the city's food establishments. Businesses are required to return the form by April 4 to show compliance.

Businesses with additional questions should call Blackburn at (818) 878-4225 or view a copy of the ordinance at the city website, www.cityofcalabasas.com.

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