Take-away trays to be banned by Oxford City Council

Fish and chips in polystyrene container
Image caption Polystyrene packaging bans are in place in US cities, including Portland, Seattle and San Francisco

Polystyrene take-away food containers should be banned in Oxford, the city's licensing committee has proposed.

If approved, traders will be forbidden from using the trays and boxes, in an effort to cut litter and promote the use of biodegradable packaging.

Oxford City Council said a consultation on the proposal would be held in the next six to eight weeks.

Similar bans have already been imposed in a number of US cities and towns.

Licensing committee member Colin Cook said: "It's to try and look after the environment.

"These boxes do not degrade over time and it's an attempt to get some biodegradable and recyclable products in there.

"I don't think it's beyond the wit or wisdom of most traders to come up with a solution to this."

'Disposable plates'

Fatih Adil, who runs the Boss kebab van in Summertown, said he used about 60 boxes a day.

He said: "If they have an option to use a different one, yes, we don't mind [having] to use it, but at the moment the only one out there that we can serve it in is the polystyrene.

"We used to serve them in the paper but to be honest, in the modern days, people don't really prefer that because... when they go home and undo their kebab, the sauce goes all over the paper. These are more like disposable plates for them.

"At the moment there is one alternative available which is aluminium boxes like Indian takeaways use... but you don't want a kebab on an aluminium thing."

In December, New York's city council passed a ban on retailers providing single-use cups, polystyrene food trays and polystyrene chips used for packaging. The legislation is due to take effect in July 2015.

Cities with bans in place include Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.

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