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San Luis Obispo City Council approves ban on polystyrene, modifies exemption

Flickr member Josh Mock

An ordinance banning polystyrene in San Luis Obispo passed unanimously at Tuesday night's City Council meeting. 

A key provision of the ban was modified just before the vote at the request of council. Most members of the City Council expressed some concern that a one year hardship exemption could be renewed. 

It allows businesses to opt-out if their costs to replace polystyrene containers exceeds 15 percent. Mayor Jan Marx said the 15 percent hardship should not be renewed for another year. 

"It should be provided as kind of a glide path for a business that finds that one year is not sufficient in their own particular case," said Marx.

City staff agreed to change the wording at council's request, adding the word "single" to the year-long hardship provision.

The ordinance is set to take affect six months from now. There will be a year for businesses to use up the materials they've already purchased.