November 16, 2009
UPDATED — 1:20 p.m. Nov. 17, 2009
Issaquah joined Seattle, Portland and other eco-conscious cities Monday night when the City Council banned polystyrene takeout containers and other food packaging made from the material. The ban will go into effect in October 2010; restaurants, grocers, public schools and other food sellers will be required to comply by May 2011.
Polystyrene — also known under the trademark Styrofoam — is a popular option at restaurants and grocers because the material is cheaper and hardier than compostable alternatives.
Critics said the polystyrene lingers in landfills long after Styrofoam trays and cups are tossed into the trash. The material is expensive to recycle as well.
City Council members voted 6-1 to approve the ban. Councilman Joshua Schaer proposed the legislation in June. Officials huddled with restaurateurs, industry representatives, business owners and environmentalists to reach the final bill.
November 16, 2009
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 16, 2009
After months of discussion and input from industry groups, the City Council is set to vote on a proposed polystyrene food-packaging ban tonight. The measure would outlaw polystyrene — also known under the trademark Styrofoam — at restaurants, grocers and other food sellers.
Bring comments about the proposed legislation to the council meeting. The council meets 7:30 p.m. at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.
If enacted, the ban would take effect in October 2010. In certain cases — such as the polystyrene trays used to package raw meat — exemptions to the ban will be allowed until May 2011. Products, such as pre-packaged soups, would be exempt from the ban. Moreover, public schools would be exempt from the ban until May 2011.
October 6, 2009
From efforts to build roads, to adding social services, to making city programs more eco-friendly, Maureen McCarry is immersed in details of city projects large and small. As she runs for a second full City Council term, McCarry threads information about municipal programs into conversations about her campaign.
McCarry said she is convinced Issaquah will improve as the years unfold, but she said leadership — her leadership — would be essential in the next four years as city staffers take on a docket that includes construction of a hospital in the Issaquah Highlands and a new roadway to link north and south Issaquah. Read more
September 8, 2009
Baby steps called for in Styrofoam ban
By now you’ve probably read about the city’s initial proposal to ban the use of polystyrene — better known as Styrofoam — food containers in Issaquah. This could include everything from takeout food containers to the little tray that holds tonight’s steak. Read more
August 18, 2009
NEW — 11:45 a.m. Aug. 18, 2009
Issaquah officials will hear from Seattle Public Utilities staffers tonight about Seattle’s ban on polystyrene food containers. Issaquah City Council members are considering a similar measure.
Join officials and business leaders tonight as they discuss the proposal at a Council Sustainability Committee meeting. The panel meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Pickering Room of City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave. N.W.
August 4, 2009
When Microsoft introduced eco-friendly utensils in company cafeterias, there was a problem with the new spoons: They warped in coffee, soup and other hot liquids. Read more
July 27, 2009
NEW — 6 a.m. July 27, 2009
As the City Council considers a ban on Styrofoam takeout boxes and other polystyrene food containers, city and Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce officials want to bring together business owners and city staffers to discuss compostable and recyclable options.
The forum will not deal with the proposed ban. Instead it will focus on compostable food packaging.
City and chamber leaders are hosting a Business Information Forum from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W.
The event will include a panel of local business leaders who have utilized such packaging, a presentation from Waste Management and Cedar Grove Organics about food recycling services available to Issaquah businesses and an open house in which participants can talk with packaging vendors about the cost and use of their products.
June 23, 2009
Stop by XXX Rootbeer Drive-in for a to-go root beer, and the signature drink will be served in a plastic foam cup — for now. Employees at the drive-in and many other Issaquah restaurants could be forced to swap Styrofoam and other polystyrene containers for eco-friendly materials.
Drive-in owner Jose Enciso said his restaurant uses polystyrene products because they cost less than alternatives. As the City Council considers a ban on Styrofoam to-go boxes and other food containers made from eco-unfriendly polystyrene, Enciso and other business leaders said the ban could mean higher prices on the menu.
But Enciso said he was comfortable with the switch for environmental reasons. Read more
June 16, 2009
NEW — 9:10 p.m. June 16, 2009
City officials agreed tonight to work alongside business owners as the City Council considers a ban on Styrofoam to-go boxes and other food containers made from eco-unfriendly polystyrene.
A proposed ban would outlaw polystyrene food packaging. Critics said the material lingers in landfills long after Styrofoam trays and cups are tossed into the trash. Polystyrene is expensive to recycle, too.
But officials also raised questions about safe alternatives to polystyrene and how the ban would impact restaurants already grappling with consumers dining out less in the down economy. Council Sustainability Committee members met tonight to discuss the proposed ban.
“You know, these packages are used to serve takeout or in restaurants, and they typically last for a few minutes in terms of any use,” Councilman Joshua Schaer said. “The reality is, while we may only see them for a few minutes, the landfill and the environment sees them for tens of thousands of years.”
June 16, 2009
City officials could ban polystyrene food containers, ending the use of Styrofoam to-go boxes early next year. A proposed ban under review by officials said the material has limited usefulness, but can linger in landfills for centuries. Read more