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Nanny State of the Week: OK, everybody’s foam toys, out of the pool

By   /   July 11, 2016  /   No Comments

Part 87 of 121 in the series Nanny State of the Week

After being absent from this space for a while, San Francisco makes a roaring comeback this week after the city’s government passed the nation’s most extensive ban on foam products.

The new rules take aim at food trays, disposable coffee cups and packing peanuts. But all those things have been banned by other governments in other cities, so the progressive elites on the San Francisco City Council had to go one step farther to re-take their rightful place at the top of the Nanny State rankings.

Shutterstock image

COME AND TAKE IT: San Francisco passed the nation’s most extensive ban on foam products, which means no more take-out trays, disposable coffee cups or pool noodles.

So they banned pool toys, too.

Yes, those fun, funky and floatable pool noodles are made out of the same stuff as packing peanuts. That means they’ve got to go, even though pool noodles aren’t (usually) the type of thing that you’d use once and then throw away – like a coffee cup or a take-out tray – and they’re not produced in such massive quantities as to clog up the nation’s landfills.

The city says the ban will protect the environment because plastic foam (technically it’s called “polystyrene foam” and you’re probably used to calling it “Styrofoam,” but that’s actually a different kind of foam product not subject to this ban) is not biodegradable. Activists who pushed for the ban say plastic foam is polluting San Francisco Bay.

Back in 2006, San Francisco became the first city to ban non-recyclable take-out food trays. That measure became a model for other cities, including Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle, all of which have passed similar bans.

A ban on take-out trays in New York City was overturned last year by a state judge for being “arbitrary and capricious.” The ban was “neither environmentally effective nor economically feasible,” wrote Justice Margaret A. Chan of the New York Supreme Court.

The new, broader ban on all plastic foam products will likely face a similar reality in San Francisco. As ABC News notes, the city can’t stop anyone outside the city from shipping products packed in foam containers into San Francisco.

That’s why the ordinance is a sham, according to Walter Reiter, deputy director and legal counsel for the EPS Industry Alliance.

“It’s going to do nothing about the protective packaging coming in,” he told ABC News. “I don’t know how it reduces their waste stream.”

Ineffective it may be, but businesses in San Francisco will feel the effect of the ban. Getting rid of to-go trays and foam coffee cups will force businesses to purchase more expensive alternatives – though at this point it’s likely that the city elites imposing the ban don’t notice the expense of anything anymore in the most expensive city in which to live in America.

The good news is that San Franciscans can continue to float around on their pool noodles for the rest of the summer. The ban won’t go into effect until January 2017.

Part of 121 in the series Nanny State of the Week
  1. Nanny-state state of the week: MD may become first to ban Vaportinis
  2. Nanny-state city of the week: Minneapolis wants to ban take-out trays
  3. Skim is in: CT lawmakers want to ban whole milk in day cares
  4. Nanny state of the week: Fairfax, VA, wants to limit the right to assemble
  5. Nanny state of the week: SC — and Schumer — for duplicative efforts to ban powdered alcohol
  6. Nanny of the Week: Virginia hoses down car wash fundraisers
  7. Nanny of the Week: Even a summertime trip to the beach can’t be nanny-free
  8. Nanny of the week: Federal authorities think feral cats can read signs
  9. Nanny of the week: Cambridge wants to ban ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft
  10. Nanny-stater of the week: NY lawmaker wants to ban photos with tigers
  11. Nanny-stater of the Week: Who needs cupcakes and candy? Here, have a pencil
  12. Nanny-stater of the week: Fargo limits kids to less than four shots of juice per day
  13. Nanny-stater of the week: Wisconsin towns fight repeal of bow ban
  14. Nanny of the week: No fun in the sun, thanks to Congress and FDA
  15. Nanny-stater of the week: DOT to ban cell phone use on planes
  16. Nanny of the week: The out-of-control trend of arresting non-helicopter moms
  17. Nanny of the Week: Vermont city could ban ‘human activity’
  18. Nanny of the Week: Mississippi makes bird feeders illegal – by accident
  19. Nanny of the week: MO town bans breastfeeding near pools
  20. Nanny of the Week: School bans lip balm, 11 year-old girl fights back
  21. Watchdog.org blows lid off Vermont’s bake sale brownie ban
  22. Nanny of the Week: Seattle imposes fine on residents who throw away food
  23. Nanny of the Week: California bans plastic bags
  24. Nanny of the week: Maybe this time it will be different for Chicago
  25. Nanny of the Week: Florida growls at craft breweries’ growlers
  26. Nanny of the Week: Massachusetts town seeking to ban tobacco faces uprising from residents
  27. Nanny of the Week: Proposed bans on Thanksgiving Day shopping
  28. Nanny of the week: U.S. government bans ‘Comfyballs’ underwear
  29. Nanny of the Week: Better take down those holiday decorations
  30. Nanny of the week: Towns ban sledding
  31. Nanny of the Week: New York City plans to ban out-of-state cars
  32. Nanny of the Week: Snow-shoveling teens get in trouble with the law
  33. Nanny of the Week: Get caught wearing yoga pants three times, go to jail for life
  34. Nanny of the Week: Georgia lawmaker wants to ban mermaids, werewolves, other fictional creatures from real life
  35. Nanny State of the Week: Endangering manatees in Florida
  36. Nanny of the Week: Christie caves to protectionist gravestone proposal in N.J.
  37. Nanny of the Week: Don’t mix beer and ice cream – because of the children
  38. Nanny of the Week: Is the minimum wage a nanny state policy?
  39. Nanny of the Week: Republican in NY backs cat declawing ban
  40. Nanny of the Week: NJ continues ban on self-serve gasoline, because sometimes it snows
  41. Nanny of the Week: Bernie Sanders is coming for your deodorant
  42. Nanny of the Week: Will babies confuse beer for their binkies?
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  44. Nanny State of the Week: FDA bans trans-fats
  45. Nanny State of the Week: L.A. plans to jail unlicensed street vendors
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  47. Nanny State of the Week: Helicopters, horses and New York City
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  50. Nanny State of the Week: Florida county sends environmental specialist to investigate BBQ
  51. Nanny State: Despite menu nannies, Americans still fat!
  52. Nanny State of the Week: New York City’s ban on Styrofoam hurts businesses, consumers
  53. Nanny State of the Week: Colorado Springs may ban sitting in public places
  54. Nanny State of the Week: New York’s soda ban could be back — but for kids only
  55. Nanny State of the Week: D.C. flexing licensing muscles at personal trainers
  56. Nanny State of the Week: Hammock bans mean no hanging out on college campuses
  57. Nanny State of the Week: County can use same lawn treatments it banned residents from using
  58. Nanny State of the Week: Pols want to ban daily fantasy sports
  59. Nanny State of the Week: Bay Area bureaucrats ban fireplaces, wood stoves
  60. Nanny State of the Week: Halloween for the politically correct only
  61. Nanny State of the Week: Governments lag behind the public on orca captivity ban
  62. Nanny State of the Week: New York might accidentally ban makeup
  63. Nanny State of the Week: California could be first state to apply no-fly list to guns
  64. Nanny State of the Week: University may block social media app in futile effort to combat racism
  65. Nanny State of the Week: City fines residents for chipped paint, mismatched curtains
  66. Nanny State of the Week: No Christmas in Bethlehem this year
  67. Nanny State of the Week: Connecticut may outlaw smoking in many cars
  68. Nanny State of the Week: Town inspection checks whether you cleaned your toilet
  69. Nanny State of the Week: Minnesota men facing felony charges for selling beer
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  71. Nanny State of the Week: FDA goes beyond the pale, prepares to ban teen tanning
  72. Nanny State of the Week: Charleston’s storied history is off-limits to the unlicensed
  73. Nanny State of the Week: Feds marketing food stamps with bingo games, TV ads
  74. Nanny State of the Week: No sipping and selling for Alabama winemakers
  75. Nanny State of the Week: Jail time for texting while walking in New Jersey
  76. Nanny State of the Week: In time for Opening Day, cities ban chewing tobacco at ballparks
  77. Nanny State of the Week: Feds send LSD Ale on a long, strange trip
  78. Nanny State of the Week: Happy Tax Day! Now get ready to pay more to file
  79. Nanny State of the Week: A state license for breast-feeding advice?
  80. Nanny State of the Week: School officials bully kids with ban on skinny jeans
  81. Nanny State of the Week: FDA fries family’s potato chip business with new cooking oil mandates
  82. Nanny State of the Week: CFPB knows what is best for your personal finances
  83. Nanny State of the Week: City cracks down on crawfish boils after mayor’s aide complains
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  85. Nanny State of the Week: State lawmakers to decide where you can get an Uber in Boston
  86. Nanny State of the Week: Businesses can’t sell parking spaces to Braves fans
  87. Nanny State of the Week: OK, everybody’s foam toys, out of the pool
  88. Nanny State of the Week: Get out of the pool!
  89. Nanny State of the Week: Common sense goes to the dogs in Phoenix
  90. Nanny State Of The Week: It’s nanny-on-nanny in Portland pot dispute
  91. Nanny State of the Week: Your pool isn’t cool
  92. Nanny State of the Week: You can’t be trusted to rent to your family
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  98. Nanny State of the Week: Chicken nannies hatch new regulations
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  102. Nanny State of the Week: New Jersey’s great leaf-blowing war
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  104. Nanny State of the Week: Food truck destruction by the health nannies
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  119. Nanny State of the Week: Regulate all the teenagers
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