Culver City’s Polystyrene Ban PASSES!

Culver City’s Polystyrene Ban PASSES!

We did it! On 12/12/2016, the Culver City Council voted to ban polystyrene take-out containers, cups, straws, lids and cutlery. We directed staff to prepare an ordinance that will go to a final vote in January.

Photo of Ballona Creek by Jim Shanman

The ban would include polystyrene foam (like the ubiquitous coffee cup) and rigid plastics made of polystyrene (they’re the ones labeled #6).

In a recent survey, conducted by the City of Culver City, over 82% of the respondents were in favor of a ban for polystyrene foam products, and 70% also favored a ban on rigid polystyrene.

The ban was proposed by Ballona Creek Renaissance, a grassroots Culver City non-profit dedicated to restoring Ballona Creek, which flows to the Ballona Wetlands, through the Santa Monica Bay, and into the Pacific Ocean.

My previous post describes the ban, but by far the best description of it – and the reasons to pass it – are in this 2 minute video with students from Culver High School:

Video: Culver High School’s Ballona Creek Renaissance Club explains why they support the ban on polystyrene

In fact, the night of the vote was dominated by the voices of Culver City youth, including two local Girls Scout Troops, several members of student government, and members of the Ballona Creek Renaissance High School Club members. Culver City Unified School District made the decision to eliminate their polystyrene lunch trays years ago, switching to compostable trays in 2013. The City and School District partnered on a composting program, significantly reducing the amount of landfill trash for the district’s student population of over 6,500.

The ban has gained a lot of media coverage, in local news, blogs, public radio, and today’s LA Times Editorial Board’s OpEd:

On a personal note… For the past several years, banning polystyrene had been a priority for me. It sure feels good to check off that box from my re-election campaign brochure (and know that so many other priorities will soon see the light)!


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