Skip to main content

St. Paul becomes latest city to ban non-recyclable takeout containers

It prompted passionate views on both sides of the debate.

St. Paul has followed the likes of Minneapolis and St. Louis Park in implementing restrictions on plastic takeout and to-go containers used by city restaurants.

By a vote of 5-2, the city council voted on Wednesday to enact its own "Green-to-Go" ordinance that will ban restaurants from using containers made from styrofoam and black plastics that are not biodegradable or recyclable.

From January 2021, restaurants and stores will have to use compostable or recyclable packaging for to-go and takeout containers, a move being taken to reduce plastic waste amid the city's wider efforts towards a more sustainable consumer society.

"The U.N. has made clear that we have about 3 city council terms to take local action on climate change before we face irreversible consequences," said council member Mitra Jalali Nelson, "and improving our waste streams and rewarding businesses who are leading the way on sustainability is one thing of many that we can do on a city level."

Around 100 city restaurants and businesses have already taken the steps of changing to sustainable takeout containers, Nelson noted.

But after 18 months of discussion, there remained opposition from some members of the city's restaurant community, who argued that it was yet another onerous and costly endeavor at a time when they're also facing pressure from the rising minimum wage and new sick leave rules.

Among those in opposition was Dave Cossetta, owner of Cossetta's, who said that he had already looked for an alternative, greener option to replace their current containers, but found they were impractical due to "size constraints and other limitations."

Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard for the latest stories

Cossetta said it was unfair that large food producers like Hormel and Land O'Lakes are still able to use the same plastics for the food they sell in St. Paul stores, yet small restaurants are the ones being forced to make the change.

Other restaurant owners agreed with Cossetta that the alternative packaging available right now are currently not ideal for hot items and liquid foods like soup. 

But there were plenty who attended Wednesday's hearing to speak in favor of the bill too, saying the ordinance is an important step to reduce pollution, waste and our reliance on certain plastics.

"I’m a business owner so I do understand the cause and everything, but before everything I’m a father too," said Moussa Doulaeh, executive chef of Afro Deli. "And I am definitely for this ordinance."

Minneapolis just took a similar step for its household recycling collections, saying black plastics and Styrofoam products will no longer be accepted due to the difficult in sorting it and the limited market for sale once it's been processed.

Next Up

UgstadRoadJunction

Charges: Teen speeding before crash that killed mother, injured her son

The teenager was driving at speeds between 72-89 mph at the time of the crash.

Northland Vapor in Moorhead, Minn.

Northland Vapor calls St. Paul regulators 'overzealous' in lawsuit over THC sales

The small Minnesota business said the lawsuit was "misleading" and "shameful."

image

Excelsior chocolate shop ransacked by thieves to reopen

Truffle Hill will reopen to the public on Friday.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/2022/11/SOLWHDPSSI%20FILINGS.pdf

Company agrees to changes after child workers found in MN meat plants

An investigation found children ages 13-17 working hazardous jobs at the plants.

soda-g7792ca8e9_1280

Drinks can company to lay off almost 100 workers, close St. Paul plant

State authorities were informed of the impending closure.

MinceyMug

Suspect in Minneapolis bar killing charged with weapons crime

The suspect has not been charged with murder in the case as of Wednesday.

snow, blowing snow

A monster storm is coming next week: What will happen?

What we know with high confidence at this point is that there will be a monster storm in the central U.S. by the early and middle part of next week.

police lights

Boy safe after kidnapping by non-custodial parent in Mankato

The search prompted the temporary shutdown of I-35 Tuesday night.

Mugshots

11 face charges after being found 'exploring' Fridley sewer system

A 911 caller reported seeing a group removing a manhole cover Monday night.

Related

Plastic cups

Minneapolis recycling has stopped accepting 2 kinds of plastic

No. 6 plastic and any black plastic will no longer be accepted.

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 12.49.03 PM

A St. Paul restaurant is offering free take-out breakfasts for kids in need

It comes amid the prospect of school shutdowns and social distancing.

Drive through

Why is Minneapolis considering a ban on drive-thrus?

It would prevent any new drive-thrus being built in the city.

294A1338

St. Paul bar now offers curbside takeout with 'drag delivery'

The Black Hart has found fun twist on the COVID-19 restrictions.

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 8.27.30 PM

St. Paul's Forepaugh's restaurant announces sudden closure

The restaurant was hit by the devastating death of its executive chef last month.

Screen Shot 2021-09-05 at 8.30.19 AM

Scrap fire at St. Paul recycling center is second in a week

Fire investigators believe the latest fire to have been accidental.