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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

POLICY INSTRUMENTS TO REDUCE CONSUMPTION OF EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE FOOD SERVICE WARE IN THE USA

  • Travis P. Wagner - Environmental Science and Policy, University of Southern Maine, United States

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2020.13903

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2019 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 09 Jul 2019
  • Revised: 03 Dec 2019
  • Accepted: 05 Dec 2019
  • Available online: 10 Feb 2020

Abstract

There is global recognition that waste plastic is a ubiquitous pollutant in the built and natural environments. A component of plastic litter and debris is single-use, expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service ware. Reducing the consumption of EPS food service ware is challenging because reuse is not feasible, recycling is not economically viable, and composting is not possible. In the absence of national action to reduce EPS in the USA, local governments have taken the lead on enacting ordinances to eliminate or reduce EPS food service ware. This paper examined the variety of policy instruments that can or have been used by local governments in the USA to reduce EPS food service ware. Because of the inabilities to reuse, recycle, and/or compost EPS, the most frequently used policy instrument has been a ban. As of December 2019, there were 249 local bans in the USA covering 12.85% of the nation’s population: of these bans, 9.6% were partial bans restricting distribution only on government and public property, 65.9% were narrow bans that ban distribution by restaurants and food providers, 8.8% were full bans that include the narrow ban and also ban using EPS food packaging by grocery stores, and 15.7% adopted an expanded ban that includes the full ban and also baned other single-use plastic food ware related items including the selling or distributing of EPS coolers and single-use plastic utensils, straws, stirrers, lids, cups, plates, and containers.

Keywords


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