Plastic Pollution
October 19 2011

California SB 568: Stayin’ Alive

by Bill Hickman

Remember the polystyrene ban for restaurants in California that we were talking about this summer?  It was shelved at the end of the legislative session in September but will be brought back to the State Assembly in early 2012.  SB 568 would provide a state-wide ban on polystyrene take out food packaging to help mitigate the detrimental effects polystyrene is having on our waterways, storm drains and marine life.  Expanded polystyrene take-out food and beverage containers are used once for a short time before they become waste, and often litter that has impacts on the marine environment. 

Surfrider has an online action alert where California residents can send a message to your State Assemblymember.  If you live outside California but visit the state and would like to see this bill passed, click here to find out which Assemblymember represents the district that you visit, then contact them directly.  A quick call with 'Please ask the Assemblymember to support SB 568 foam reduction for cleaner beaches and waterways' goes a long way.

Most important at this point is to show support from restaurants that would be regulated by this bill.  Research has shown that there are cost-competitive alternatives available to businesses and that customers prefer more environmentally-friendly options. 

Do you know a California restaurant that would support SB 568?  If so, an official letter of support would make a big difference in this campaign.  Click Here to download a sample letter of support that can be signed by a restaurant owner or manager and includes instructions on how to send it in.  Please feel free to contact any local restaurants directly or send restaurant support suggestions to