UPDATED: Polystyrene Ban for Culver City?

UPDATED: Polystyrene Ban for Culver City?

UPDATE (11/26/16): In August, the Council sent the polystyrene ban proposal back to the Sustainability Subcommittee, on which I serve. This was the second time the subcommittee was asked to weigh in on the ban. Unfortunately, the two committee members are split on this issue (I strongly support a ban, my colleague does not). We decided to send out a survey to gauge the community’s views.

Please take a moment to fill out this survey on a polystyrene ban, and share with your Culver City neighbors.

In addition, Mayor Jim Clarke added a proposal, which the City Council will discuss this Monday, Nov. 28 at 7pm (read the staff report for¬†Agenda item A-1 here). In his memo to the City Council, Mayor Clarke states: “The enhanced program that I am proposing includes a phase out and eventual ban of Styrofoam food containers, but that is only a part of a much larger and more comprehensive program.”

As always, residents are welcome and encouraged to share their views with the City Council by coming to our meetings and/or sending us emails.

Last but not least, here’s further illustration why I support a polystyrene ban… a photo of Ballona Creek, taken by my friend Jim Shanman this morning with the statement:

“THIS is why we need a styrofoam ban. This was taken this morning, BEFORE the rains added more trash to the creek. There are more cups in this single pic than I could call attention to, but take a close look and see how many there are. To our elected leaders: this is where the styrofoam waste ends up. Please also note the number of birds floating in this garbage. We as a city, county, state, country and planet need to stop asking WHY and start asking WHEN should the ban take place. Even if it costs the consumers a few extra cents for their sodas, because clearly our society is incapable of effectively reducing and recycling.”

Thanks for posting this Jim – I agree!



original post:

On Monday 8/8, the Culver City Council will discuss a proposal to ban polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) take-out containers.¬†Polystyrene is not compostable, does not decompose in a landfill, is extremely difficult to clean up, and recycling it is not economically feasible (for a detailed explanation, please see Culver City’s staff report here).

This proposal was made by Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR), a local non-profit organization. For the past several years, BCR has organized clean-ups and planted native gardens along Ballona Creek in an effort to clean, beautify, and restore it. They are on the front lines of plastic pollution along Culver City’s main waterway, which leads to the Ballona Wetlands, into the Santa Monica Bay and Pacific Ocean.

Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR) is recommending a ban on the use of polystyrene in
Culver City as it has witnessed first hand the large quantities of polystyrene debris floating to
the ocean during its creek cleanups over the last decade. Polystyrene easily blows in the
wind, then gets caught in vegetation and floats down the local streams. It contributes to
making Ballona Creek the # 1 polluter of Santa Monica Bay.
While polystyrene take-out containers are inexpensive to manufacture, and inexpensive for
restaurants to purchase, they are damaging to humans – they leach a carcinogen (styrene)
into food and beverages when heated; and are harmful to animals when mistaken for food.
This is not a new idea: the Culver City Unified School District and Fiesta La Ballona have
already successfully banned polystyrene containers.

Download the full proposal here: BCR polysterene ban proposal

Culver City High School BCR Club members gather around a pile of polystyrene debris collected at a Ballona Creek cleanup earlier this year.

“Culver City High School BCR Club members gather around a pile of polystyrene debris collected at a Ballona Creek cleanup earlier this year” – Ballona Creek Renaissance

The City Council has received communications opposing the ban from the American Chemistry Council, DART, and the California Restaurant Association. We’ve received support letters for the ban from the Sierra Club, the Bay Foundation and Heal the Bay. I’d like to hear from residents! Please weigh in by contacting the City Council by Monday 8/8 at 3pm, or by coming to the meeting, which begins at 7pm. (The item will most likely not be heard before 8pm.)

Staff report and attachments available here.

Culver City Hall
9770 Culver Blvd.
Culver City 90232


*photo credits, Ballona Creek Renaissance Facebook page

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