In Palo Alto, say goodbye to polystyrene | April 23, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 23, 2010

In Palo Alto, say goodbye to polystyrene

As ban starts on foamy, take-out containers, city also sets ambitious goals for reducing water use, carbon emissions

by Gennady Sheyner

Polystyrene containers made a permanent exodus from Palo Alto's food establishments Thursday — the latest target in the city's war against bay pollutants.

This story contains 689 words.

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Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at


Posted by Susan Stansbury, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

Well done, Palo Alto staff! Polystyrene containers are both unsightly and a huge marine problem. It is great to see the end of them in Palo Alto. Hopefully many other communities will follow your lead!

Posted by rem, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

And just what are they/we going to use for "doggy bagging". In other words what is going to be used for "take home" and carry out!!!!

Oh well, I quit going to downtown Palo Alto years ago.. University Street has priced itself out of business. Then there is the traffic and the parking problem....

Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:55 am

Rem, it's calleD P-A-P-E-R. Starbucks uses it, so does Su-Hong's and Scott's and just about everybody else. I think McD's has switched over. It's NO problem.

Posted by More enforcement, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Yes, but we can still bring in and dispose of polystytrene from neighboring cities. We need a complete ban on possession with check points set up at all entrances in the city to confiscate and arrest residents with polystyrene in their possesion.

Posted by cieboy, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Rem use a bicycle! Lots of parking available for bikes....via bike friendly Bryant Ave to get to University...

Posted by Wha?, a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

Oh I am waiting for the comments on how this is an infringement on people's rights and unconstitutional! I am so fatigued by all this nonesense. The containers in question are bad for all of us on the planet. Please stop thinking only within the confines of your own little heads. So Palo Alto!

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm

It would be nice to see the research upon which these Big Brother laws are based. Is the departments research based upon, well, its own limited Googling? Or did they gather some peer reviewed articles upon which to base this decision?

Posted by Freida, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Yea!!!! Good job Palo Alto City Council.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2010 at 3:07 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

None of the substitutes for polystyrene have the insulating value of polystyrene, and so the consumer is denied the comfort of hot coffee, cold soda or a warm burger. Once again, the convenience of the consumer is left out of the equation. I am a bit peckish on this issue because the paper handle of my paper grocery bag came off yesterday when I was carrying my purchases in through the rain. Time to grease up the tumbrels again, the aristocracy has pushed us peasants too far.

Posted by Bob Wenzlau, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 22, 2010 at 11:14 am

Bob Wenzlau is a registered user.

This change delights me as well - thanks Palo Alto - and Walter, I have actually found the biodegradable packaging is more soothing to my hands, strong, insulating. I count this as an environmental win and consumer win! I will buy my takeout in Palo Alto where I know the restaurants - now with food waste composting as well - are working hard to improve their environmental footprint with their tasty food. Happy Earth Day!

Posted by Natty, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Too bad palo alto doesn't recycle polystyrene. It recycles beter than most of the things we put in the blue bins.

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