Banning Trend Continues with Lightbulbs and Styrofoam on the Cutting Block

Ontario, Canada has become the latest to announce a ban on incandescent light bulbs (by 2012), following on the heels of Australia's ban and news that California is considering the same thing. Of course, if the incandescent were to become efficient, the ban would no longer apply. It's just meant to weed out inefficient lighting options and promote better ones, like CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs).

More polystyrene bans

San Francisco has stepped it up, showing the city to be a leader in sustainable living. After banning plastic shopping bags just a few short weeks ago, the city is going after polystyrene (Styrofoam) takeout containers with a vengeance.

Non-biodegradable and non-recyclable cups and containers will be unwelcome as of June 1, 2007 and the only way business can get out of the requirement is if no suitable products are available within 15 percent of the cost of their usual products. Get the specifics here. Portland banned polystyrene in the earl 90s, while Oakland did so earlier this year, joining up to 100 other cities worldwide.

Is a ban really the answer?

Banning seems like a drastic measure but if that's what it takes to open people's eyes about the issues, so be it. Detractors can complain all they want about biodegradable replacement materials requiring special end-of-life processing and tainting the recycling of other materials, but keeping things the way they are for that reason makes no sense either. Once we have the right things in place to deal with new products, it'll be worth all the perceived hassles.

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