FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — The City of Fayetteville wants to ban the sale of Styrofoam throughout the city for food products, meaning restaurants, food trucks and grocery stores could no longer serve your food in any Styrofoam products. Back in May, the city council passed an ordinance prohibiting the purchase of the Styrofoam for city purposes or the sale of the product on city property.
“We’ve actually been actively looking for an alternative to our Styrofoam containers because we’d prefer not to use them because of the effect on the environment,” Dana Cash said.
Owner of Funktown BBQ at the Yacht Club on College, Dana Cash says the problem is he can’t find an affordable alternative.
“Every penny counts, especially when you are doing it by yourself. We’re just a small business, so you can’t really afford the extra things,” he said.
And next door the owner of Dot’s Nashville Hot Chicken, Russell Ingram, says when he opened his food truck more than two years ago, he made the decision to not use Styrofoam, using compostable and recyclable products instead, so if this ban passes it won’t change the way he runs his food truck.
“I do know that it affects other businesses because the cost is so much for the products that I use compared to Styrofoam,” Ingram said.
Ingram says the compostable containers he uses are about 25 cents each compared to less than a dime for a Styrofoam container.
“The concept from the beginning was eco-friendly, natural, and wanting to support local businesses as much as possible. It’s just kind of taking that extra step to start it off the way I wanted to,” he said.
City of Fayetteville Environmental Director Peter Nierengarten says they are wanting to ban Styrofoam to try to reduce the environmental impact on the town.
He says they want to work with restaurants who currently use the product to come up with a strategy for transitioning.
“We see it as an opportunity to educate around the benefit of using something other than Styrofoam and making that transition to either a paper product or a compostable product or a plastic product that has a little bit less environmental impact than Styrofoam does,” he said.
The city council could vote on this ordinance at their next meeting. If it does pass, it will go into effect in May of 2020. The law would only impact the use of Styrofoam containers at restaurants, and you'd still be able to buy them at stores.