Styrofoam - Food Carts and Brick & Mortars
Updated: Mar 11
Portland food carts vendors use approximately 60,000 disposable containers every month! That’s a lot of trash especially if Styrofoam. Since 1990, the City of Portland banned polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) for all takeout food.
This came in response from growing concerns the Styrofoam was having on our environment. It is not biodegradable and is a major component in our landfills. It was harming wildlife when ingested and there is no recycling program for Styrofoam.
Styrofoam is usually the cheapest to-go container out there and therefore still found in carts and restaurants. The products most earth-friendly are made from food like sugar cane, corn, and potato. Even if you do splurge on bio-degradable products be sure to tell your customers to find a composting bin, not just a garbage can, for disposal. When compostable to-go containers are put in the trash, they break down creating methane gas, a greenhouse gas - 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - that contributes to global warming. (Source)
So if you are still using Styrofoam containers you need to stop immediately. There is a monetary fine if you have been warned and continue to use it anyway. And remember, you are not allowed to fill customer’s personal containers from home. You have no idea where this container has been and it would be foolish you take it into your small kitchen, potentially contaminating your hands, work surface and utensils.