Richmond adopts 'preference' for biodegradable packaging

Richmond city council has passed a resolution indicating a "preference" for biodegradable food containers, B.C. grown organic food and cage-free chicken products at Richmond City Hall.

Coun. Linda Barnes brought the motion forward, aimed at city-contracted caterers. She noted city hall's primary caterer already uses biodegradable containers, but Barnes wants the wording included in future contracts.

Polystyrene food containers are usually not recyclable, require petroleum to create and can take hundreds of years to break down.

Santa Cruz, Calif. has already gone several steps farther than Richmond. In 2008, the city banned the use of polystyrene packaging by retail food establishments and required businesses to use take-out packaging made of biodegradable, compostable or recyclable material.

Now Santa Cruz city council is considering a much wider ban on the sale of foam and polystyrene products, including coolers and toys, along with packaging materials

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