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H 4156
Session 109 (1991-1992) 

H 4156 General Bill, By J.L.M. Cromer, J.J. Bailey, R.A. Barber, Cork and 
H.H. Keyserling
 A Bill to amend Title 39 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by
 adding Chapter 68 so as to create the Polystyrene Foam, Degradable, and
 Recyclable Food Packaging Act, to prohibit the use of polystyrene foam
 packaging by food establishments, to encourage degradable and recyclable food
 packaging, and to provide exceptions.

   01/15/92  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-32
   01/15/92  House  Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural
                     Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-33



A BILL

TO AMEND TITLE 39 OF THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 68 SO AS TO CREATE THE POLYSTYRENE FOAM, DEGRADABLE, AND RECYCLABLE FOOD PACKAGING ACT, TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF POLYSTYRENE FOAM PACKAGING BY FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS, TO ENCOURAGE DEGRADABLE AND RECYCLABLE FOOD PACKAGING, AND TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Title 39 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 68

Polystyrene Foam, Degradable and Recyclable

Food Packaging Act

Section 39-68-10. As used in this article:

(1) `Polystyrene foam' means any styrene or vinyl chloride polymer which is blown into a foam-like material.

(2) `Polystyrene foam food packaging' means any food packaging which contains polystyrene foam.

(3) `Customer' means a person purchasing food or beverages from a restaurant or retail food vendor.

(4) `Person' means any natural person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other organization or group however organized.

(5) `Supplier' means a person selling or otherwise supplying food packaging to a restaurant or retail food vendor.

(6) `Food vendor' means a restaurant or retail food vendor.

(7) `Prepared food' means foods or beverages which are prepared on the vendor's premises by cooking, chopping, slicing, mixing, freezing, or squeezing, and which require no further preparation to be consumed. `Prepared food' does not include any raw uncooked meat product or fruits or vegetables which are not chopped, squeezed, or mixed.

(8) `Restaurant' means an establishment selling prepared food to be eaten on or about its premises by customers. Restaurant includes a sidewalk food vendor.

(9) `Takeout food' means prepared foods or beverages requiring no further preparation to be consumed and which are generally purchased in order to be consumed off the retail food vendor's premises.

(10) `Retail food vendor' means any store, shop, sales outlet, or other establishment, including a grocery store or a delicatessen, other than a restaurant, which sells takeout food.

(11) `Food packaging' means all bags, sacks, wrapping, containers, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, cups, straws, and lids which are not intended for reuse, on or in which foods or beverages are placed or packaged on a restaurant's or retail food vendor's premises.

(12) `Degradable food packaging' means food packaging which substantially reduces to its constituent substances through degradation processes initiated by natural organisms whose end products are substantially, but not necessarily entirely, carbon dioxide and water; and plastic items designed to degrade when exposed to ultraviolet light. `Degradable food packaging' does not include cellulose-based items which have a synthetic or plastic coating comprising more than five percent of the total volume of the item.

(13) `Recyclable food packaging' means any food packaging including glass, cans, cardboard, paper, mixed paper, or other items which can be recycled, salvaged, composted, processed, or marketed by any means other than landfilling or burning, whether as fuel or otherwise, so that they are returned to use by society.

Section 39-68-20. (A) (1) Except as provided in Sections 39-68-60 and 39-68-70, no restaurant shall provide prepared food to its customers in any polystyrene foam food packaging, nor shall any restaurant purchase, obtain, or keep any polystyrene foam packaging for this purpose.

(2) A restaurant obtaining food packaging after the effective date of this chapter must obtain from each of its suppliers a written statement signed by the supplier or its responsible agent stating:

(a) that the supplier will not supply polystyrene foam food packaging to that vendor;

(b) that the supplier will note on each invoice for food packaging supplied to that vendor that the packaging covered by the invoice is not polystyrene foam; and

(c) the identity of the packaging's manufacturer.

(3) All contracts between a restaurant and a supplier entered into after the effective date of this chapter must include provisions that the supplier:

(a) will not supply polystyrene foam food packaging;

(b) will state on each invoice for food packaging supplied that the packaging is not polystyrene foam; and

(c) will state on each invoice the identity of the packaging's manufacturer.

Failure to comply with these provisions constitutes a material breach of contract.

(4) Restaurants must retain each supplier's written statement for one year from the date of receipt of any food packaging from that supplier.

(B) (1) Except as provided in Sections 39-68-60 and 39-68-70, no retail food vendor may sell takeout food in any polystyrene foam takeout food packaging, nor may any retail food vendor purchase, obtain, or keep any polystyrene foam packaging for this purpose.

(2) All retail food vendors shall segregate, in their warehouses or other storage areas, food packaging used in their takeout food operations from other food packaging. Takeout food packaging containers or boxes must be labelled as such and indicate that they do not contain food packaging which is polystyrene foam.

(3) A retail food vendor purchasing takeout food packaging after the effective date of this chapter must comply with the requirements of Section 39-68-20(A)(2) and 39-68-20(A)(4).

(4) All contracts for the purchase of takeout food packaging entered into after the effective date of this chapter must comply with the provisions of Section 39-68-20(A)(3).

Section 39-68-30. (A) At least fifty percent by volume of each restaurant's food packaging, in which prepared food is provided to customers, or which is kept, purchased, or obtained for this purpose, must be degradable or recyclable. Within five years from the effective date of this act, one hundred percent of the food packaging used for purposes under this subsection must be degradable or recyclable. Each restaurant shall maintain written records evidencing its compliance with this section.

(B) At least fifty percent by volume of each retail food vendor's packaging, in which takeout food is provided to customers, or which is kept, purchased, or obtained for this purpose, must be degradable or recyclable. Within five years from the effective date of this act, one hundred percent of the food packaging used for purposes under this subsection must be degradable or recyclable. Each retail food vendor shall maintain written records evidencing its compliance with this section.

Section 39-68-40. (A) It is unlawful for a supplier to make a misstatement of material fact to a food vendor or to the Department of Health and Environmental Control regarding the degradable or recyclable nature of, or the use or nonuse of polystyrene foam in the manufacture of any food packaging supplied to any food vendor.

(B) A food vendor shall state that he is in compliance with this chapter on his annual business license renewal form.

Section 39-68-50. All statements and documents required by this chapter must be made available for inspection by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. It is unlawful for anyone having custody of the documents to fail or refuse to produce the documents upon request by the department.

Section 39-68-60. The Department of Health and Environmental Control may exempt an item or type of food packaging from the requirements of this chapter upon a showing that the item or type has no acceptable nonpolystyrene foam equivalent and that imposing the requirements on that item or type would cause undue hardship. The documentation must include a list of suppliers contacted to determine if nonpolystyrene foam substitutes are available.

Section 39-68-70. Food packaging required to be purchased under a contract entered into before the effective date of this chapter is exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

Section 39-68-80. Each restaurant and retail food vendor shall establish separate waste receptacles for each type of recyclable food packaging waste, generated on the premises, including, but not limited to, glass, cans, cardboard, newspapers, and mixed paper.

Section 39-68-90. The Department of Health and Environmental Control shall promulgate regulations and to take any action reasonable and necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, inspecting a vendor's premises to verify compliance.

Section 39-68-100. A person who violates or fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter is subject to administrative penalties established by the Department of Health and Environmental Control not to exceed one thousand dollars."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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