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In January of this year, the San Diego City Council, on a 6-3 vote along “party lines,” implemented a ban on polystyrene, more commonly (and inaccurately) known as Styrofoam, food and beverage containers.

Six Democrats voted yes, correctly arguing it would help the environment, while three Republicans voted no, citing a burdensome requirement on small businesses.

San Diego joins 120 other California cities with bans on containers that have been blamed for poisoning fish and marine life and endangering the health of people who eat seafood.

HMG-LCCN is asking that Cerritos and other area City Councils step up and consider the ban. 

The ban includes waivers of up to two years for businesses with annual gross incomes of less than $500,000; HMG-LCCN believes that is too long, one-year would be proper.

A polystyrene cup cost 2.5 cents per thousand, a compostable cup costs 10 cents per thousand.

So if a company uses 1,000 cups, the cost to use polystyrene is $25 versus $100 for a compostable cup; just add the 7.5 cents to the cost of the beverage and save the waste.

Los Angeles City and County, Culver City, West Hollywood and San Francisco are the biggest areas in California to ban the polystyrene. Other cities in the nation include New York City; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Portland, Oregon.

Global companies are stepping up too. In response to consumer pressure, Dunkin’ Brands Group plans to finish switching to compostable cups by 2020, while McDonald’s plans to eliminate use of foam packaging for food and beverages by this year. 

There are many arguments as to why the city should ban polystyrene; it is not biodegradable, it can break into small pieces that makes it harder to clean up. It is made of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals which could leach, especially if they come in contact with hot, greasy, or acidic food. Animal sometimes eat it especially turtles and fish and that can kill them. 

Finally and most importantly it can’t be recycled.

HMG-LCCN is asking Cerritos and area cities to join Long Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, San Clemente, Santa Monica, Alisa Viejo, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, and Laguna Woods and ban polystyrene.

Join the club Cerritos.