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{Past Event} - Styrofoam Elimination: Guidance on Purchase of Biodegradable Foodware

November 19, 2010 - 2:00 pm - November 19, 2010 - 2:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


A top priority for most Practice Greenhealth members is polystryrene elimination, yet this priority is a tough one, due to the very low cost of styrofoam products. How can hospitals eliminate this “eye sore”, yet maintain fiscal responsibility? While Practice Greenhealth advises members facilities to identify cost saving opportunities, espeically at the start, we will circle back to the styrofoam disposable products, due to their negative human and environmental health impact and for the negative image they give for patients, visitors and staff. This call will provide information around the science to arm us with the evidence we need that styrofoam is a poor choice from a health perspective and will then transition to some guidance around identifying alternatives for both facilities that compost and those that are landfilling their food service waste. We will also hear about Santa Monica, California’s ban on nonrecyclable foodware and transition to safer materials. Join us for this call and join the discussion around this very hot topic and challenging goal of styrofoam elimination in health care!

Points To Include

  • Why is styrofoam a problem?
  • What guidance is out there for procurement around bioware?
  • If a facility is not composting, should they be purchasing compostable ware? If not, what should they buy?
  • What about take out?
  • What about the need for the check out person to be able to view the contents of the food?
  • How to staff participate in composting if they use take out containers?
  • How can we learn more?
  • Container Ban Frequently Asked Questions
  • Container Distributors List
  • Container Successes
  • Host a Zero Waste Event


Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Washington DC
Telephone: 202-898-1610 × 230
Brenda Platt is the Co-Director of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit organization. She has worked 24 years on recycling and composting issues, and is a trained composter, holding at one point, a MD license to operate commercial composting facilities in the state. She is a co-chair of the regional Organics Task Force with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and also co-chairs the national Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative along with the Institute’s national Sustainable Plastics Initiative. She is a member of the US Composting Council and sits on its Environmental and Legislative Affairs Committee. The Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative has released draft environmentally preferable purchasing guidelines for compostable biobased food service ware.

Josephine Miller, City of Santa Monica Office of Sustainability & Environment
Telephone: 310-458-4925
Josephine Miller serves as an Environmental Programs Analyst for the City of Santa Monica, Office of Sustainability and the Environment. Her work includes development, implementation and evaluation of the Non-Recyclable Plastic Disposable Food Service Container Ban, zero waste pilot programs, and the development of the proposed Single-Use Carry Out Bag Ordinance and Sustainable Food policy. Josephine is a member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Environmental Affairs Committee, the City of Santa Monica Economic Development Division Buy Local Steering Committee, a judge for the Sustainable Quality Awards, and is City staff for the Task Force on the Environment. Previously, Josephine worked with the City’s Human Services Department, Sierra Club, and Canyon Bridge Productions. Josephine is a California Resource Recovery Association Certified Resource Management Professional and lectures nationally on Sustainable Packaging.

Webinar speakers have no financial or other interest in the sponsoring company and the sponsor has had no input into the content of the presentation.

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