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Kathy Smith has since left the council and has been replaced by Councilman Dan Rivoire.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.



Pretty soon, the City mandate will be you will only use your cupped hands to partake in beverages in SLO. Laugh now, but just watch. Then they can have foot patrols to issue ticket quotas on all those who DARE to use vessels to hold their drinks!!


work on your homeless population and it would decrease Styrofoam waste by 75%

I constantly see people walking out of food joints handing there left overs to the homeless and the Styrofoam container sits on the bench where they ate it.


Another stupid law by our narrow minded city counsel. They should just let the market place determine what type of carry out container we choose. Over time people will turn more to the green type without a law that will burden government services and burden local businesses but will not save the planet from the devastating effects of overpopulation.

Jorge Estrada

Sure, not a bad idea but when will they get around to banning more people facilities in a town that already needs to import water?


They did it very successfully in Brazil, same size country.


Could you please pass an ordinance banning bums and beggars in San Luis Obispo? They are messing up the creeks far more than a discarded coffee cup.


OK, they find styrofoam in the creek, ban it and there will be no garbage in the creek? Get rid of the dirt bags who can’t seem to get their refuse into a garbage can!


The key question is….is the Mayor disposable?


Styrofoam??????? How about the 44 million diapers that are dumped in trash cans everyday, in this country alone. You won’t hear a peep, because they don’t care to offend their base. This is complete political rubbish, and Ms. Marx is driving the trash truck. Laughable grandstanding.