More voices join the chorus opposing a London polystyrene ban

September 13, 2016

Last week, we posted a blog discussing a proposed foam ban spearheaded by a collection of chefs in London. In response to the proposed ban, the Foodservice Packaging Association is seeking to educate the public about the benefits of foam packaging and clear up misconceptions surrounding foam.

This week, the Recycling Association has joined in voicing its displeasure with the proposed ban. Simon Ellin, Chief Executive of the Recycling Association, said, “Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a valuable commodity, and contrary to the claims of the chefs, is 100 percent recyclable.”

Mr. Ellin went further to suggest that restaurants could do more to ensure that polystyrene recycling becomes more prominent.

“We all know that London is packed full of restaurants,” he said, “and it should not be impossible for these chefs to get together to make collection of this material worthwhile in such a densely populated restaurant scene.”

Foam is recycled at facilities across the UK, including one in Billingsgate. When it is recycled, EPS can be used to make items like rulers, surfboards, garden nursery trays, and picture frames. It’s also used in architectural molding and in eco-initiatives, such as alternative energy production and “green” buildings.

Foam recycling is a much more realistic and sustainable goal than a ban on foam. Polystyrene recycling reduces solid waste, decreases our dependence on virgin resources, prevents pollution, saves energy, protects the Earth’s atmosphere, and models sustainability for future generations.

A foam ban, on the other hand, would hurt schools, hospitals, and many restaurant owners across the city. The alternatives are simply too expensive—two to three times more expensive, in fact. Foam containers provide excellent insulation at a cost-effective price and save schools, businesses, consumers, and government agencies money. This leads to lower costs, creates more jobs, and fuels the local economy.