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Government and Politics

San Luis Obispo City Council to consider polystyrene ban

Flickr member: Kai Hendry

An ordinance that would ban polystyrene in San Luis Obispo will go before the city council Tuesday night.

If passed, it would ban the use of expanded polystyrene food and drink containers. However, there would be exemptions if alternatives are unavailable or unaffordable.

Greg Hermann is the city's special projects manager. He prepared the proposal and said the ordinance would be supported by existing city policies.

"The ordinance is in response to concerns expressed by community members regarding expanded polystyrene, but it's also supported by a number of existing city policies such as the Climate Action Plan," said Hermann. 

Hermann said they will continue to provide information to businesses during the transition.

Doug Hoffman is the owner of San Luis Paper Company, they provide inventory including polystyrene products to local businesses.

He said he isn't sure yet how the ban would affect his business, but said that he knows of a number of very concerned small businesses.

"Personally from a company standpoint, it's a whole lot like I felt about getting rid of the 't-shirt bags.' It's fine with me, because the replacements cost more," said Hoffman. "There are a number of very good options out there that are not made of Diamond-6 Polystyrene, but it would depend upon whether a customer of mine was willing to pay the extra cost. "

Businesses would have one year to comply, should the ordinance pass.