San Jose Styrofoam ban adds more bite

Local restaurants, markets and street food vendors in San Jose will no longer be using foam and Styrofoam containers for food and beverages starting in the new year.

The two-phase ordinance was passed by the San Jose City Council in 2013, initially affecting only multi-state chain restaurants. Starting Thursday, however, that restriction will be extended to locally based businesses as well.

Restaurants could face fines up to $500 for disregarding the new rules. Back in 2013, city staffers found that foam containers were the third most commonly littered item at a series of trash hot spot cleanup sites.

Officials with the San Jose Environmental Services Department say more than 70 California cities and agencies have adopted similar bans.