SLO Council slated to ban Styrofoam

May 27, 2015

styrofoam_1The San Luis Obispo City Council will soon vote on a plan to ban Styrofoam food and drink containers, a move the council majority has already endorsed.

The proposed ordinance would ban the use of Styrofoam containers and cups in restaurants citywide. It would also prohibit the retail sale of all Styrofoam food and drink containers that are not encased with a more durable material.

Additionally, the ordinance would require all food providers to use disposable food and drink containers that are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.

Styrofoam use causes a unique litter problem since the material is lightweight and not biodegradable, a city staff report states. Worker find a significant amount of Styrofoam during creek cleanups, according to the staff report.

The council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance during its upcoming meeting on June 2. If the council approves of the ordinance next week, it must do so again at a following meeting for the Styrofoam ban to become official.

Last September, four of five council members endorsed a Styrofoam ban. Those supporting the ban included Mayor Jan Marx, Councilman John Ashbaugh and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson.

Only Councilman Dan Carpenter voice opposition to the issue. Carpenter said at the September meeting he was concerned with overregulation and that the county Integrated Waste Management Authority should take up the issue, rather than the city.

Kathy Smith has since left the council and has been replaced by Councilman Dan Rivoire. Rivoire’s campaign website says he previously chaired a chamber of commerce sustainability committee and served as a member of the Climate Action Plan group.

If the Styrofoam ban passes, the ordinance will take effect six months after the final adoption. An additional six-month warning period will occur after that.

Violators will then face administrative fines. First-time violators could avoid the fine, though, by purchasing acceptable products to replace their Styrofoam containers.


It’s real easy folks… bring your own leftover container. I get many chuckles from the wait staff, but it sure has saved me a lot of garbage over the years. Very much like the shopping bag thing, leave the containers in your car so you don’t have to remember to bring them.


Not the govt job. Businesses that are anti Styrofoam etc. should advertise that they are. People who are anti Styrofoam etc. will start shopping there and if their business is doing well more businesses will follow suit.


I hate Styrofoam…especially the peanuts. but I hate top down tyranny even more. I say we ban people that want to ban.


That chart has so many distortions and half-truths about both the Democrats and Republicans that it qualifies as propaganda on par with the stuff they generate. It also makes some assumptions based on theory not reality. I was once a Libertarian in my youth. I still agree with many of their positions but some are as fraught with problems as any other party’s political platform. I’d still vote for Rand Paul because he is less wrong than any other politician currently running for President and more honest than any except perhaps Bernie Sanders. But I have few illusions about his flaws and none about his chances of even getting the GOP nomination.


Couldn’t agree more. Democrats and Republicans are the same side of a single coin. The only thing that differentiates them in elections is abortion, homosexual marriage and global warming. The only thing that differentiates them post election is which side of the aisle they sit.


If we built a modern high temperature incinerator and used the non recyclable refuse to generate electricity we would solve many problems like the styrofoam issue. It would greatly reduce the amount of materials going into landfills. New modern incinerators use advanced computer controls and scrubbers to prevent smoke, odors, or fly ash. The intense temperatures destroy toxic hydrocarbons; it’s much cleaner than coal.


Yeabut, it’s been tried SLO_Johnny. It has failed on several occasions. I liked the idea too.


Look up the system used in Tampa Florida. The technology is used all over Europe. It does work and the revenue from the electricity pays the costs. Extending the lifespan of the landfill is the biggest savings.


If we used the waste to make methanol we would save the environment and move towards breaking our dependence on oil. Just think what that would do for the people of the United States; create jobs, break up the big oil cartel, stop pollution and revive the economy.


I think that you need to take a much harder look at the economics of your proposal. Yes, methanol can be generated from waste (they may be doing it locally already). But it can’t be generated in quantities that would make even a small dent on overall energy use and the costs of making it rise rapidly if done on anything beyond a small scale.


Methanol is a product of biodegradation. Just how do you get methanol out of plastic? Please explain.


Let’s face it, people shouldn’t be smoking or using styrofoam. But, they do, and someone else pays to clean up the trash.


Perhaps people shouldn’t be using a large lump of non-biodegradable plastic and assorted toxic materials, to write electronic letters to a blog….


At this point, let’s just make a list of things that are not banned in SLO town.

* Caustic city councillors

* Meek ineffectual mayors

* Enforcing the law against party school rats


Jan is quite effective as Mayor of SLO! After all, being the socialist that she is, all this overpriced corruption and totalitarianism fits perfectly with her politics.


“At this point, let’s just make a list of things that are not banned in SLO town.”

You forgot Free lunches and brown act violations.


Will they enforce this as stringently as the No Smoking Ordinance which does not seem to be enforced at all?


They need to shut down the toxic BBQ’s at Farmers’ Market before they can enforce the smoking ban. The exhaust from diesel engines is a far greater health threat.

Rich in MB

Maybe they will ban condoms next since they get flushed down the toilets and can clog the sewage treatment plants.

What is it about the SLO City Government that has time to do everything except what the People Want…like getting the spending, pensions and price of Government under control?



you are right. alot of this stuff are red herrings. Styrofoam cups. i carry an enamel coffee cup, blue & white speckles. then i can address the REAL issues


Where does one find such a magical speckled cup?


oh, sports authority of any camping supply store. we all had one when we were kids.


Flush condoms? I thought as long as they were rinsed, you were good to go again


I laughed my ass off…….Paso Guy…..Thanks for cheering up my lousy day!


That’s called recycling.


Maybe they could be used to generate methanol.


They already have the spending, pensions, and price of government under THEIR control…

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