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Calif. could be first state to ban foam containers

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posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 04:42 PM
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Restaurant owner Gary Honeycutt says a push in California’s Legislature to ban the plastic foam containers he uses to serve up takeout meals could cost him thousands of dollars in an industry where profit margins are razor thin.



The bill by state Senator Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat, would prohibit restaurants, grocery stores, and other vendors from dispensing food in expanded polystyrene containers beginning in 2016. If signed into law, the measure would make California the first to institute a statewide ban on such containers.


So waddya think ATS? Good idea or bad? I'm personally torn on the issue. On the one hand I hate to see small business owners getting screwed by legislation like this, but on the other I can't fault someone for wanting to help the planet a little bit. I don't recall ever using a biodegradable container though I probably have. Any opinions on their ability to do the job? I would certainly be all for it if they could keep up with styrofoam and if they weren't incredibly cost prohibitive for businesses.

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edit on 29-8-2011 by Domo1 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


I say it's a good idea!
a small step, but a step.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 04:52 PM
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Like you, I feel we must create a balance whereby we allow businesses to make a reasonable profit, but also make a reasonable attempt to protect what environment we have left.

I see no problem using cardboard boxes for takeout food. All of the big chains up here in Canada, that I know of, use cardboard containers or paper wrappers that are recyclable. They hold the greasy food just fine.

Maybe help certain businesses with the cost of transitioning to the new container, but otherwise I think it is a good thing. And going into effect in 2016, there is plenty of time to make the changes.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by TheComte
 


Yeah at least there is that buffer of time. Thanks for responding, good to know that similar legislation in your area worked out just fine.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 05:05 PM
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I personally believe there are ways of encouraging changes like this through the free market rather than one more way for State or Federal Government to dictate what we do, eat, see, hear, wear or buy. Just my feelings here, but I'm getting awfully tired of all the micromanagement from politicians far removed from the consequences of their actions. Sure... let's dictate a major industry change which will cost money during what I'm starting to think more of as a depression. What could possibly go wrong?

Doesn't California have other things a tad more important to worry about? I believe their own numbers here say they have a mind numbing 24 BILLION other little things to consider. They have time to focus on foam containers? Wow... Sacramento needs a good flush for all new people. Something really stinks in that town.

California 2011-2012 "Budget Issues"



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 





I personally believe there are ways of encouraging changes like this through the free market rather than one more way for State or Federal Government to dictate what we do, eat, see, hear, wear or buy.


I am not being sarcastic; what would you suggest? I was trying to think of a good way. I think having customers make the 'right' decision is probably asking a but much of our society if we really want to get things done. I agree with you, there is too much govt. control and micromanagement.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


There is no way to make them change, they will go for the cheapest option no matter how bad it is for the environment.

Big business only cares about making money, nothing else.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 





I personally believe there are ways of encouraging changes like this through the free market rather than one more way for State or Federal Government to dictate what we do, eat, see, hear, wear or buy.


I am not being sarcastic; what would you suggest? I was trying to think of a good way. I think having customers make the 'right' decision is probably asking a but much of our society if we really want to get things done. I agree with you, there is too much govt. control and micromanagement.


Well, I'll admit I hadn't put a lot of thought into it in advance, but in thinking here for a couple moments I've managed to come up with two ideas that might be worth trying before a new law likely drives more folks clear out of business. I just feel like Government is clueless and heartless to just how CLOSE so many are to folding up and going bust right now. I'd just beg them...please please please...no more laws or regulations which attack the very economic engine our entire country is driven by. By engine I am refering to Small business, not Government.

Idea 1 is money on the business side, but a voluntary market based approach. In that, I'd say this business owner pony up the thousands he clearly admits his idea would cost everyone and do it voluntarily. I'm not being sarcastic in this idea, I'm serious. It's California, after all. He can make his 100% green approach a key marketing tactic as well as making himself feel better at the end of the day. It just might work. It's certainly worth a shot.

If anyone might discard that out of hand, I'd invite them to look at In and Out Burger and why/how they can operate with benefits and fresh made food policies in the same market as McDonalds and Burger King. Their customers have grown into some of the most fanatic I've met to a commercial brand and I'd compare their food quality with the majority of average sit down restaurants I've been in. They still make a profit. It CAN work....without Government and a new law.


Idea 2 is on the consumer and state side, but it's a reasonable approach to what I won't argue is a problem. All that foam packaging. I probably ought to just keep my mouth shut and make this to make my fortunes but I'll leave it to others... The garbage compactor is a wonderful concept, and so is a small scale home incinerator. In this case, it wouldn't actually burn like an incinerator, but simply heat to the point of deforming and compressing the foam. (try a heat gun to a fast food burger box...LONG before anything catches fire or actually combusts with all those fumes...it's collapsing on itself and soft enough to compress)

Combine the two with effective filtering and you don't have 5 bags of assorted foam trash anymore, you have a surprisingly small blob or cube of solid material to throw in the trash with everything else. If someone still doesn't like foam in the landfill at a tiny % of it's original mass, then sort it as many places require by law and recyclers can find a use for the little colorful cubes households produce.


Now these are off the top of my head with only a short time since your thread started to noodle the concepts...but if I can come up with some basic outlines, surely people with real expertise in materials science and waste disposal can come up with far better ideas. It won't be sexy to politicians or require new laws to put their names on, so I doubt we see logical solutions...but it doesn't mean they aren't out there.

Government needs to give people the room to find and use them while people stop running to Government crying for legislative solutions. Just my two cents, and strong feelings are entirely toward the business owner of the story who would add one more law to the Mountain of regulation we already have, not anyone in the thread.




edit on 29-8-2011 by Wrabbit2000 because: Garbage compactor...not disposal. Err..

edit on 29-8-2011 by Wrabbit2000 because: minor clarification on last para



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 06:20 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 

inn and out can do it because its a small family owned buisness(compared to mc donalds or bk etc) there also decently religious as evident by the prayers that are on all there food containers so that can rub some people the wrong way but wow are there burgers good too bad they dont extend to my state but i hear texas just got them ,on to the topic if its good for the einvornment its usualy bad for buisness but this is something that seems to make sens never liked those foam containers much



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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I don't see why cardboard could not be used in place of foam.

Also, why not find a way to reward customers who bring in their own plastic and tupperware containers to pick up to-go food.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by quango
I don't see why cardboard could not be used in place of foam.


...paper products tend to leak... besides that, we're running out of timber...


Originally posted by quango
Also, why not find a way to reward customers who bring in their own plastic and tupperware containers to pick up to-go food.


...thats a possible solution - but - i think it would have to require a waiver that the customer couldnt sue the restaurant for botulism... plastic containers are real handy but not healthy, imo, cuz plastic gets porous as it breaks down and harbors tummy-upsetting cooties...



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 07:01 PM
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I detest those foam containers you get with take out.

The problem with those foam containers are they do not biodegrade.

Just like those dang plastic bags you get in stores to carry your items in.

They do make biodegradable foam containers.

They are made with corn believe it or not.

They break down in the environment when exposed to the sun and rain.

They could make them out of compressed paper like those holders for drinks or even corrugated paper like a pizza box is made.

Didn't MacDonalds go from foam to corrugated boxes on some of their items?

The container industry WILL come up with an alternative that serves the same purpose and is just as good and will be environmental friendly if they have to.

If you don't regulate certain things manufacturers will do it the cheapest nastiest way they can.

The owners will not lose money they will pass it on to the consumer.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 07:22 PM
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A while back I tried some zig zags that looked like plastic. Completely biodgradable and affordable grape flavered zags. Edible flavored containers would be awesome, naturally desirable in many ways.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 07:41 PM
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This is the reason Kalifornia is going down the tubes fast; they seem to want to ban everything. It won't be long before everything is banned in that state then the economy will grind to a halt.

I remember when I was a kid, there was a push to get everybody to choose plastic over paper bags because they were destroying the forests. People actually looked down their noses at you if you chose paper bags and eventually everyone moved to plastic bags. Hurray, the forests are saved!

Now the landfills are filled with those plastic bags that never break down.


Problem is, when you force people from using one product or material, the substitute may be more costly to the environment in the long run. One poster mentioned a corn-based alternative to foam. With ethanol driving up the prices of food, do you really think that diverting the corn supply even further is the answer?



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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They should address the real problems in that state before funding someone's green agenda.

Solve the unemployment problem then sell new containers to the employed.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by zroth


They should address the real problems in that state before funding someone's green agenda.

Solve the unemployment problem then sell new containers to the employed.


The 2 problems arent mutually exclusive.
They can try to do both.

Going by your logic, nothing should be done until world peace has been achieved.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 08:20 PM
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If it's garbage, it should decompose.

Landfills are getting to be too pricey a business for taxpayers.

Down with plastic clamshells and styrofoam, up with paper packaging. If it can be recycled, like glass containers, all the better.

(notice how I completely avoided the health concerns with plastics?
)



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 


Not true.

We are not running out of timber.

A tree is a renewable resource and the lumber industry is planting trees as fast as they cut them down.

What appears to be a "shortage" is hype.

What we do have is a problem with wasting lumber.

If you ever drive buy a housing development (if there is such a thing today) if you spot a dumpster there climb up and look inside.

A lot of good wood is thrown away and hauled off to the landfill.

Paper is very reusable.

Most stores have compactors now for their boxes.

They compact the cardboard and it is taken to a facility in bundles and recycled in to paper to be made back into cardboard boxes.

From the time a truck is unloaded and the bales have been broken apart and fed in to the machine until it comes out as paper spooled on huge rolls is about an hour.



posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by IamJustanAmerican
reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 

Not true.
We are not running out of timber.


...your opinion... i disagree... life goes on...



Originally posted by IamJustanAmerican
If you ever drive buy a housing development (if there is such a thing today)


...yes, there are still subdivisions being built... one is right behind me and its not the only one in my area, which contradicts the mindset that the economy sucks everywhere... o'well, thats how it goes around here...



posted on Aug, 31 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by Flyer

Originally posted by zroth


They should address the real problems in that state before funding someone's green agenda.

Solve the unemployment problem then sell new containers to the employed.


The 2 problems arent mutually exclusive.
They can try to do both.

Going by your logic, nothing should be done until world peace has been achieved.


Logic must mean something else in the UK.

"Someone's green agenda" means do not fund corporate interest while you have real issues to address.



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