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Contra Costa County FINALLY Bans Styrofoam

Contra Costa County was the last stubborn hold-out without a ban on styrofoam in the Bay Area, but that all changed Tuesday night when the county’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to kick the health and environmental hazards to the curb.

Styrofoam, a form of polystyrene, has been a take-out go-to since some “genius” figured out how it could be used to hold our watered-down gas station coffee and transport cheap chow mein from the diner to our dining room table (or couch, more likely), but its time is thankfully coming to a bitter end. For the time-being, you’ll still be able to pick up those last-minute, oh-shit styrofoam ice chests on your ill-prepared way to parties, but within six months, the nasty, toxic substance will be banned from use at any unincorporated business, county facility and hospital.

Just as a reminder, polystyrene is killing us slowly. It contains chemicals that can migrate and are shown to cause lung tumors in mice. Exposure to styrofoam has also been linked to increased risks of miscarriages, lymphoma, leukemia and all sorts of cancers in humans. On the environmental end of things, let’s just say this: it’s freakin’ plastic and it does not biodegrade. Got it? It’s bad for humans, bad for the earth and it’s well past time for this shit to go.

Styrofoam coffee cups are almost a thing of the past. Photo courtesy of Unsplash

It is estimated the effort will cost Contra Costa County $100,000 from the Storm Water Utility Assessment Fund and it will impact business owners, especially of the food-kind, as they are forced to find healthier alternatives, which will come at a steeper price. However, supporters of the ban can be found even among those who will be hit the hardest. In an interview with CBS Local, Jennifer Zandonella of Zandonella Catering out of Martinez responded to the question of whether the cost was worth the benefit, and her answer is pure gold:

“Yes, if we get to live longer on the Earth, I guess so.”

Cheers to that!

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.