Four years ago, a group of GreenTown Los Altos volunteers started canvassing local restaurants to join the GreenTown Co-op in order to offer the more environmentally friendly compostables for take outs and left overs. The idea met with limited success for a variety of reasons. Mainly, most business owners did not want to change their current practice. GreenTown’s team realized that until there was a town ban on Expanded Polystyrene (Styrofoam), the task of changing behavior would be a tough uphill battle.
Flash forward to Jan 14, 2014
On Jan. 14, 2014 the Los Altos City Council voted to ban EPS from restaurants, retail shops, and events starting July 4, 2014. The second fourth of July where the Council has shown its forward thinking by enacting policies supporting “freedom” from old school, environmental killing, products.
The approval of the EPS Ban marks a great change in behavior within Los Altos. Already 2/3 of the restaurants do not use EPS in their business operations and the other third just have 1 or 2 products that need to be changed to a compostable product, 6 of the 9 retail establishments sell EPS material on the store shelves and none of them foresee an issue with removing these products. Most vendors at events have anticipated the ban and already have compostable replacements lined up.
Within a short period of time, our town is changing behavior regarding environmental issues. To think single use plastic bags and expanded poly styrene are soon to be relics of the past, opens up a new world of creating sustainable behavior for a better earth. A change everyone connected with GreenTown Los Altos is happy to see.