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Manhattan Beach bans styrofoam containers, but alternatives may generate more waste

Los Angeles Unified School District has opted to look for alternatives to plastic foam lunch trays.
bookgrl/Flickr Creative Commons
Los Angeles Unified School District has opted to look for alternatives to plastic foam lunch trays.

The city of Manhattan Beach banned the sale and distribution of styrofoam containers Tuesday, including to-go cups and boxes.

Heal the Bay's Sarah Sikich told our media partner NBC4 that polystyrene is bad for the environment.

"It breaks down into tiny little bits that look like food to marine life," Sikich said, "so the marine life often ingest these plastic particles, and that can cause sickness and sometimes even death."

But some restaurants are worried the change will be expensive.

"It's almost like twice as much to have the greenware versus the foam containers," Tony Russo, who works at Wahoo's Fish Tacos, told NBC4.

The American Chemistry Council says alternatives to styrofoam generate more greenhouse gas emissions and more waste. The ordinance will be reviewed again next month before taking effect.