Styrofoam Products to Be Banned in San Diego

by on November 16, 2022 · 0 comments

in Environment, San Diego

by Elizabeth Ireland / Times of San Diego / Nov. 15, 2022

Styrofoam products are on their way out in San Diego following the city council vote on Tuesday, Nov. 15 approving an ordinance banning all single-use polystyrene foam food containers, utensils, coolers and pool toys effective next year.

According to a staff presentation at Tuesday’s meeting, while Styrofoam products are accepted in the city’s blue recycling bins, it is difficult to find a market willing to recycle them, and they often are sent to the landfill — if they don’t break up into tiny pieces and get into the region’s environment first.

“I am afraid to live in a world where the oceans are dying,” 17-year-old UC San Diego student Hela Khalil said at the meeting. “That’s why I am urging those of you in power to take action now, so that I, along with other youth, don’t have to live in a world ravaged by climate change.”

According to a report by city staff, the plastic polystyrene is “a threat to the environment in San Diego as litter in our canyons, streets, waterways, and beaches. Polystyrene foam blows in the wind and floats on water, where it can be ingested by birds, fish, and other organisms.”

Mitch Silverstein, San Diego County policy manager for the Surfrider Foundation, said plastic foam products were the second-most found trash item on the region’s beaches, making up more than 14% of all litter picked up during the organization’s recent cleanup event.

San Diego is far from the first municipality to ban polystyrene products. A total of 130 other jurisdictions throughout the state have already passed bans, Los Angeles County’s will go into effect in December and the Los Angeles City Council will discuss a similar ordinance in December. In fact, of all of San Diego County’s coastal cities, only Oceanside will still allow its use once San Diego’s ban goes into effect in April 2023.

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