SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose has become one of the largest cities in California to ban restaurants from using plastic foam to-go food containers.

The San Jose City Council approved the ban on Tuesday by a 9-2 vote. For national chain restaurants, the ban takes effect the first of next year. Other restaurants have until 2015 to make the switch.

Many already have, like Britannia Arms in downtown San Jose.

“We have already replaced our Styrofoam boxes with a sustainable packaging of wax-covered cardboard,” said bar manager Christian Macauley.

San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo said the legislation is long overdue.

“We’ve learned over 17 years of trying that polystyrene is simply not going to get recycled in the city of San Jose or in any other city for that matter,” Liccardo said. “You can only beat your head against that wall for so long before you say, I need to try something different.”

The California Restaurant Association opposed the ban, claiming it would increase costs, a claim which city officials dispute.

Dozens of cities and counties in California have already approved bans and restrictions on the foam containers.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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