Culver City Officially bans Polystyrene
Polystyrene, which includes but is not limited to Styrofoam, containers are a major polluter of the Ballona Creek and other Culver City areas.
The new ordinance prohibits the sale of foam food ware, including coolers in which the foam is not otherwise covered with another material. City officials have also stated that food establishments that provide takeout food cannot place those orders in solid or foam polystyrene containers. Eateries are now also required to ask customers whether or not they want cutlery, rather than automatically including it with the order, as some have done in the past.
Egg cartons, meat trays used with unprepared food, foam packing materials used in shipping containers, and food prepared outside of the city are all exempt from the ban.
Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR) initially brought a polystyrene ban proposal to the City Council Sustainability Subcommittee earlier in the year. That committee in turn recommended it to the City Council, which chose to adopt the resolution.
Polystyrene is a synthetic polymer plastic available in two forms: foam (typically called Styrofoam) and solid. Solid polystyrene, as it pertains to the food industry, is normally used for straws, cutlery, and coffee cup lids.
A press release by the city focused on the harmfulness of polystyrene to Ballona Creek, which is located within the Culver City Real Estate area.
It said, “One of the primary examples of the amount of Styrofoam waste can be found in Ballona Creek. Ballona Creek, a focal point of the community, flows through Culver City as an open channel that drains storm water and urban runoff within the 130-square-mile Ballona Creek Watershed to the Pacific Ocean.
“Trash and other hazards, such as Styrofoam containers and cups, have entered Ballona Creek, breaking down into dangerously small particles, which pollute the water that flows directly to the Pacific Ocean. The City Council went even further in its efforts to prevent all types of trash that ends up in Ballona Creek by installing waste and recycling receptacles along the Creek bike path, as well as key areas within the Ballona Creek Watershed.”
To learn more about the ban, Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, suggests readers visit www.culvercity.org/polystyreneban. To view an educational video about the polystyrene ban, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRL-AkkNCMk.