The Pittsfield City Council has approved a ban on polystyrene food containers despite a subcommittee’s recommendation not to approve the ordinance.
The ban, approved by a 7 to 3 city council vote Tuesday, goes into effect July 1, 2016. It applies to foam cups and “clamshell” take-out containers. Restaurants and other food establishments found in violation will be given an initial warning, but then face fines of up to $50 a day. Attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo proposed the ordinance three years ago.
“Many people litter,” Del Gallo said. “If you litter with a paper cup, it eventually just disintegrates and goes away. But if you litter with Styrofoam, it never goes away.”
Two other Berkshire communities, Williamstown and Great Barrington, have banned foam containers. A bill in the Massachusetts legislature would prohibit restaurants from dispensing food in polystyrene containers statewide.