Trashed: Minneapolis approves styrofoam container ban

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Styrofoam clam shells stuffed with your favorite restaurant, food truck or coffee shop's to-go food will soon be extinct. At least in Minneapolis.

The City Council voted unanimously Friday to implement more stringent recyclable packaging guidelines  – aimed mainly at banning polystyrene (better known as styrofoam) from restaurants.

The updated ordinance was sponsored by Ward 12 council member Andrew Johnson, and introduced last month. He tells the Star Tribune there may be as many as 10 million styrofoam containers put in Minneapolis' trash every year.

The new guidelines are set to take effect April 22, 2015 – Earth Day.

Current Ordinance – Present but Ineffective

As MPR points out, Minneapolis (along with its fellow Twin City, St. Paul) actually tried to ban plastic food containers way back in 1989. But it was poorly enforced and described by the station as "mostly symbolic." Johnson tells MPR the newly passed ordinance is "a redo, a retake."

Currently, Minneapolis ordinance outlaws the use of food and beverage packaging that is "not environmentally acceptable." (See the full ordinance here.) There are two outs: Hospitals and nursing homes are exempt, as is packaging that doesn't live up to the "environmentally acceptable" label, but there is no alternative available.

The new ordinance that was passed makes some tweaks and additions to the current regulations. That includes a more specific outline of recycling options that food establishments are required to have available, and more detailed definitions of some "environmentally acceptable" packaging.

According to KSTP, Johnson says the new ordinance actually legalizes compostable containers, and changes the penalty for not complying from a misdemeanors to an administrative fee.

Impact on Restaurants

There are a few allowances, KARE 11 notes, such as some plastic coffee cup lids, and cups that are lined with a plastic material; a viable, cost-effective alternative could not be found. If a restaurant has trouble with the switch financially, the city will consider those situations on a case-by-case basis.

But Dan McElroy, executive vice president of the Minnesota Restaurant Association, tells MinnPost, "We can make this work."

According to KSTP, the Restaurant Association says many establishments have already switched over from plastic to paper anyway, since the cost difference is almost negligible.

About 100 U.S. cities have banned styrofoam to date.

Next Up

124906958_401361401236047_6293747214536025849_o

Pandemic pushes need for cybersecurity and I.T. professionals to forefront

University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping meet demand with online master’s programs

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 5.01.58 PM

Body found floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

Efforts to identify the deceased are underway.

Hennepin County Government Center

Judge finds suspect guilty in 1991 murder of young Minneapolis woman

A 58-year-old man from South St. Paul, who was 29 at the time, has been found guilty of stabbing a 20-year-old woman

northfield community education center

Northfield school fires employee who allegedly gave melatonin to infant

It's against district policies to give a child anything without a parents' permission.

state hockey tournament, mshsl

MSHSL approves 3 calendars to start winter sports as soon as Dec. 21

The start date will depend on whether the state shutdown is lifted.

hydrocodon-DEA

Drug overdose deaths up 31% in the first half of 2020

Overdose deaths started to increase sharply in March, which coincides with the state-ordered lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.

los ocampos

Video: Vehicle crashes into St. Paul restaurant

The fire department is on scene addressing a gas leak.

covid-19, coronavirus

Latest county infection rates are sky-high throughout Minnesota

Kandiyohi County is one of the hardest hit counties in the state.

Jenna Fish

Family's warning after teen's tragic death from CO poisoning at Thanksgiving

A 17-year-old girl from Delano died after Thanksgiving due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plainview

More than $12K donated to MN gym owner who refused to close

The small business is located in town in Wabasha County.

radio station, microphone

MPR, The Current launch new weekly segment called 'The Warming House'

The program will feature feel-good entertainment amid the pandemic.

Related