California Foam Ban Stunts Business GrowthAugust 29, 2012 No Comments
The Natural Environment Protection Company (NEPCO) owns and operates a manufacturing facility in Chino, California. The facility is responsible for producing high-quality picture frames from recycled polystyrene foam. In the last few years, the NEPCO was able to grow from 4 to 35 employees.
Senate Bill 568 places a ban on all polystyrene foam food containers. The polystyrene ban would have a massive impact on NEPCO’s ability to grow by diminishing the supply of post-consumer foam, a key ingredient for NEPCO’s picture frames. The ban would also impact the food service industry. Food service companies rely on foam’s affordability and superior insulation properties.
Tommy Kim, Director at NEPCO believes the ban will not only hinder business growth, but won’t solve problems, such as, landfill use and littering. Kim stated, foam is less than 1 percent of landfill waste by both weight and volume. The ban also fails to address the issue of litter. Litter impacts marine life, it dirties parks, beaches, and highways. People won’t stop littering just because you ban foam. In fact, according to Kim, after San Francisco banned foam food products, the city found that litter increased with paper cups.
“A ban does not eliminate waste, it just creates openings for other products to fill a void…I am doubly disturbed by the volume of misconceptions out there about foam and its impact on our natural resources,” stated Kim.
Timbron International is another manufacturing company in California producing products from recycled polystyrene foam. Timbron produces decorative interior molding, which contains 90% of recycled foam. The molding is sold at Home Depot stores in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
David Firestone, Director of Recycling at Timbron International said in a statement, “We are very interested in working with local California municipalities to establish effective recycling programs…”
Banning foam in California would cost almost 8,000 jobs. In the foodservice industry, the ban could increase consumer spending on disposable foodservice products by about $376 million per year.[v] Tibron International, NEPCO, and hundred of other companies could be effected by Senate Bill 568.
[v] U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Regional Multipliers: A User Handbook for the Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II). 1997.