Davis Considering Ban on Styrofoam

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DAVIS — Serving fresh meals to hungry customers in Downtown Davis — it’s what Dot Island Grill has done for a decade, but soon takeout may look a little different.

“I would say it’s totally worth it,” said Andrea Arrojado, employee of Dot Island Grill.

The city of Davis is considering a ban on polystyrene foam, better known as Styrofoam.

If passed, Davis would be the first city in the region to remove the material from restaurants, schools, delis and pretty much anywhere that provides meals and beverages to the public.

Arrojado supports the idea.

“I would rather pay more than cause the environment harm,” said Arrojado.

Other downtown businesses have already started ditching Styrofoam.

Ivan Franks, owner of the Hot Dogger, has reluctantly switched to compostable containers.

He still uses foam water cups.

“They’re a lot cheaper which is the main reason people use them, they do insulate well but everything is going to the compostable paper,” said Franks

“This is the stuff that is not allowed under the ordinance. All of this other stuff is still completely acceptable under the ordinance, even things like plastic straws, spoons and forks,” said Davis Conservation Coordinator Jennifer Gilbert.

Gilbert says Davis will join dozens of other cities and counties nationwide with similar bans on polystyrene foam.

“I think were reaching the point where were looking at our resources and realizing there is a limitation and recognizing that we need to start taking the next step forward environmentally,” Gilbert said.

There is resistance.

The group Go Foam California says swapping out foam for compostable materials will hike the cost of takeout containers 108 percent and increasing the cost of cups about 90 percent, hitting the food and beverage industry hardest.

“Probably triple the price” said Franks.

Franks says the switch is costing him a bit more, but he does it anyways.

And soon, it may not be a choice.

The city of Davis has already started reaching out to local businesses.

The city council will have its first vote on the ordinance on April 18.

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