City’s Take Out Food Container Program Recognized:

The City of Santa Monica was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Waste Prevention Award from the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) for its groundbreaking take out food container program. Santa Monica’s Non-Recyclable Plastic Disposable Food Service Container Ban, in place since February 9, 2007, protects the beach and the bay without limiting the outstanding take out food choices available to Santa Monica residents and for visitors enjoy.

The program prohibits local restaurants from using non-recyclable food containers, including those made from polystyrene (Styrofoam), because these products end up as one of the main components of beach and marine litter. Restaurants have responded positively by switching to recyclable plastic, paper and compostable containers which helps keep waste off the beaches and out of the landfills.

“We are excited to receive this award for what has been an incredibly successful program,” said Dean Kubani, director of the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment. “Santa Monica’s restaurants and their patrons have embraced it and it has helped create a market for more environmentally friendly food packaging. And it has now become a model for programs in other cities throughout the country.”

According to CRRA President Julie Muir, “each year it is great to see the amazing programs that we have going on in the state. Between the initiatives of local government, federal agencies, nonprofits, individuals and small private businesses it’s no wonder California is a leader in resource conservation, and well on its way toward Zero Waste.” In 1990 California passed Assembly Bill 939, mandating all cities and counties to divert 50 percent of their waste from landfills by 2000, since then many jurisdictions have adopted Zero Waste goals.

The California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) is the largest and oldest affiliate recycling organization in the country. Founded in 1974, CRRA is a dynamic non-profit organization dedicated to resource conservation through the practices of reuse, recycling and composting.

Santa Monica representatives will be on hand to receive the award presented at the CRRA’s annual conference in Sacramento August 12, 2010.