Environmental Ordinances, Resolutions And Policy

The Albany City Council has adopted several policies, ordinances and resolutions geared towards "greening" Albany, and achieving environmental sustainability for our local environment and community.

Policies

Ordinances & Resolutions

 


Polystyrene Foam Ban

The Albany City Council adopted a Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam) Ban, which takes effect as of September 1, 2008. The ban prohibits the use of polystyrene foam take out food containers at all food service Styrofoam Cupfacilities within the City. The ban is intended to help further "Green" our City by limiting the amount of polystyrene in our environment.

Polystyrene is commonly used for disposable food service containers such as cups, plates and “clam-shell” boxes. The useful life of these containers is typically very short, however polystyrene continues to exist in the environment for years afterward, and there is currently not a meaningful recycling process for polystyrene. Polystyrene foam breaks down into smaller, non-biodegradable pieces that are ingested by marine life and other wildlife, thereby harming or killing them. Additionally, there is evidence suggesting that a component of polystyrene foam, styrene, which is a carcinogen and neurotoxin, may leach from polystyrene containers into food and drink, posing a potential health risk to people.

Paper container

The ban requires food service facilities to use eco-friendly
food service ware that is either biodegradeable, compostable, or recyclable.

Food Service Patrons: Help "Green" Albany by informing your favorite restaurants about this new ban. Report noncomplying food service facilities to: greenalbany@albanyca.org, or to (510) 528-5760.

Food Service Providers: Help "Green" Albany by complying with this new ban. 


Bag Ban Postcard

Reusable Bag Ordinance 

Recycled content paper bags and reusable bags may be provided, but affected stores must charge a minimum $0.10 per bag. Consumers may bring any type of bag to a store for their purchases, and are encouraged to do so!

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority adopted the Reusable Bag Ordinance in January 2012 to reduce the use of single-use carryout bags and promote the use of reusable bags. Similar ordinances have been passed in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles County, and other communities throughout California.

Plastic bags are one of the most common litter items found in our waterways, and plastic pollution is a growing threat to oceans and marine life. Plastic bags take hundreds of years to break down or decompose, causing a cumulative litter problem. Shopping with reusable bags helps reduce litter and waste, protects creeks and the bay, and conserves natural resources.

Additional information can be found in the FAQs. For more information or to order free outreach materials for your store, please visit www.ReusableBagsAC.org.