TELL US: Should Foam Beverage, Food Containers be Banned?

Residents in Brookline supported a move to ban the use of all foam food and beverage containers, a move that was approved at Special Town Meeting.

One group of residents in the Bay State has taken a stand against the use of plastic foam food and beverage containers at local restaurants. 

A Special Town Meeting in Brookline earlier this week voted to ban the use of polystyrene (plastic foam) food and beverage containers for take-out or to-go at food establishments in town. The ban will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2013.

The move came after Town Meeting member Nancy Heller proposed the article due to the health risks involved in the use of the cups. As a result, the move was approved by a vote of 169-27. 

But not everyone was in favor of the move. Canton-based Dunkin Donuts spoke against the measure on Tuesday; spokesperson Christine Riley said that, despite looking, the company has not found a better alternative to the foam cups to keep coffee warm. 

Meanwhile, some petitions have cropped up, such as on Change.org, calling on Dunkin Donuts to cease use of the cups, citing hazards to the environment. Last year, the company said it was looking at alternatives to the material and also weighing the possibility of an in-store recycling program, according to a WHDH report.

But what do you think? Should Brookline's move be followed by other communities in the Commonwealth? Or should establishments be allowed to use the material for food and beverage containers? 

BH November 16, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Why not, there are recyclable alternatives.
Amy November 16, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Please ban tofu and moonbats and leave Dunkin Donuts alone please? : some petitions have cropped up, such as on Change.org, calling on Dunkin Donuts to cease use of the cups, citing hazards to the environment. Last year, the company said it was looking at alternatives to the material and also weighing the possibility of an in-store recycling program
Gretchen Kenny November 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM
I think that all cities and towns..and states for that matter....should stop banning things and mandating things without giving a thought to costs! Over the years I have noticed that Brookline loves to attach "first" to its name. When did majority rule go down the drain? Every time more than two or three people argue for a ban on xyz pretty soon xyz is banned We as a people are getting ridiculous!
DJ November 17, 2012 at 12:04 AM
By all means Amy, ban tofu because virtually all of it has been poisoned by Monsato's GMO. Do you not believe in Global warming? Did you vote for Romney claiming you want to preserve the future for your kids while you toss it out the environmental window and leave them with an impossible burden to clean up and no healthy or natural food supplies? Do yourself, your kids and this earth a favor and watch CNBC's "The Secret Life of Garbage". Watch the entire show. I guarantee you will be blown away.
Emcee of Seekonk November 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Seems to me MacDonald's uses a paper/cardboard-type cup for takeouts, and believe me it holds the heat very well. Too well... takes forever to get a good gulp of coffee down. Plus, styrofoam cups tend to squish (bend). For me, styrofoam would not be missed.
BH November 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Gretchen would you rather fractions of a cent more per cup or just keep cranking out waste by the millions and billions that won't breakdown and leave this planet? I agree with DJ, watch any documentary on trash, your mind will be swayed.
Randy Miller November 17, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Do we really need our Goverment telling us what we can drink out of? And do we need them spending our hard earned tax dollars discussing and enforcing regulations like this? Don't we have a lot more important issues to address? I am all for recycling, and composting, however when Goverment officials think they need to oversee every possible corner of our lives, because we are not capable of making our own decisions, then something is wrong. If you don't feel we should use or consume styrofoam, then DON'T BUY PRODUCTS PACKAGED IN IT! Eventually companies like DD will get the message?
Terese Bohaxiu-Dicastiglione November 17, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I would like to see foam containers phased out for health and environmental reasons.
Robert November 17, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I recycle at home everything possible. But I've always wondered why styrofoam is not taken away curb side. If people are so enthusiastic about this styrofoam cup ban,why haven't you been equally motivated to push for or at least inquire about why your own town won't use your tax dollar to arrange for the massive amounts each house throws away,to be recycled. Or have you...? Please inform us.
alan lury November 17, 2012 at 03:41 PM
There has been real discussion on the airwaves this week regarding this issue. The bottom line is not whether they should be banned or not - the experts on either side can make claims for each side till the cows come home. The real issue is that in a town of 20,000 people, 157 individuals had the power to make changes that effect everyone in their town as well as many businesses. The Town Meeting form of government is the most undemocratic form of government that exist today. It was meant for an earlier time in our country's history when the world was a different place. Today it is being used by individuals who because they know the turnouts are so low (because of the pressures of making a living and surviving are so severe), they are able to enact law that would never see the daylight if it was on a private ballot voting process. Someone needs to start the process to initiate a MA constitutional amendment to sunset the Town Meeting form of government over the next ten years. Otherwise we will continue to see laws passed by so very few that affect so many.
Robert November 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Alan, I agree with your point..."The real issue is that in a town of 20,000 people, 157 individuals had the power to make changes that effect everyone in their town as well as many businesses.." And the more environmental issues (real or perceived) are presented as "crises",the more bans and such, will be jammed down our throats without a voice. Sure the earth/environment is very important but so isn't democracy and freedom. Styrofoam and plastic bags have always been an issue to me. I'd be happy to have my coffee in paper cups any day. If Whole Foods is so earthy and enviro friendly,then why do they stack hefy plastic tubs at their prepared foods bars. Then make NO provisions to recycle them after eating in their tabled areas ?? But don't we all feel sooo warm,proud and earth friendly while spending our money at their stores.
Gretchen Robinson November 17, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Emcee, for once we agree. I hate styrofoam cuts
Gretchen Robinson November 17, 2012 at 09:36 PM
in Attleboro you can recycle hard styrofoam at Pond Street but you have to cart it down there, I think, once a year. I'm not that diehard a recycler. Once 'they' said we couldn't make smoking off limits and now no one thinks about it. Same thing with plastic bags. Now it's automatic to bring your cloth bags in. They give some cushioning to your produce and the handles are softer on the hands.
Gretchen Robinson November 17, 2012 at 09:36 PM
People should vote. It's the American way.
Fiscal Conservative November 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM
But Gretchen, when people vote other than the way you think they should, you rile on them for not believing as you do. Why should they vote when you would be all over them for doing things the "American way". By the way, did you sign the Massachusetts petition to peacefully suceed from the U.S.A.? Have some fun with your govt, they certainly are going to have fun with us, come January.
Gretchen Robinson November 18, 2012 at 11:42 PM
"Assinine. Childish." Betsy Shea-Taylor of the Sun Chronicle says it well. Time for FCs to get on with life. http://www.thesunchronicle.com/vip/opinion/columns/shea-taylor-don-t-let-sour-grapes-spoil-taste-of/article_c6daad4d-3ca6-580f-9ea6-25871134bf9b.html
Kerri Mullen January 06, 2013 at 04:30 AM
"the move was approved by a vote of 169-27. " I'm pretty sure that's a majority. And, despite that comment, you might note that historically, "two or three people arguing" for change were those who are now hailed as heroes... think the founders of our country, those who ended slavery and segregation, those who fought for women's suffrage, and environmentalists who fought for regulations on air and water pollution, etc. Thank God for the minority who cries out for majority benefit!
Robert January 07, 2013 at 12:55 AM
I read once that to recycle paper and all the processes it involves, uses much more energy than producing styrofoam cups. It reminded me of the Electric Car (aka Chevy Volt) cycle. They don't burn evil gasoline but the plant that generated the electricity to recharge them burned a whole lot of coal,or other fossil fuel, to make that electricity.


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