Beginning July 1, eating places, grocery shops and different meals suppliers in Ventura shall be banned from utilizing food and drinks containers fabricated from expanded polystyrene, generally recognized by the trademarked identify Styrofoam.
The Metropolis Council unanimously authorized the ban in November on grounds that expanded polystyrene merchandise, ceaselessly used for take-out orders and diners’ leftovers, are dangerous to the surroundings.
The ban would not go into impact till July.
Ventura joined greater than 130 different cities and counties in California, together with Ojai and Thousand Oaks, to ban expanded polystyrene merchandise to some extent, in keeping with a Ventura metropolis employees report final yr.
“As a coastal group, we should be sure that we’re defending our surroundings, pure sources, wildlife and the well being of our group,” Ventura Mayor Sofia Rubalcava mentioned in a launch Tuesday.
“Polystyrene is among the most prevalent types of litter present in our storm drains, creeks, rivers, seashores, parks, and open areas,” she mentioned. “It’s gentle, arduous to take away and shortly breaks into small items.”
It is not biodegradable and cannot be recycled both, final yr’s employees report famous.
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The town’s ban prohibits any meals supplier from distributing expanded polystyrene meals and beverage containers. Meals suppliers are outlined by the town as any individual or enterprise positioned inside Ventura metropolis limits that gives ready meals or drinks for public consumption.
They embrace eating places, grocery shops, comfort shops, espresso retailers, meals vehicles and caterers, in keeping with the town ordinance detailing the ban.
Banned expanded polystyrene gadgets embrace cups, plates, bowls, trays, cartons and “clamshells,” the ordinance says. One other prohibited merchandise are coolers not wholly encapsulated by one other materials, the town launch says.
Meals suppliers could select any non-expanded polystyrene product to exchange the banned ones, in keeping with the town. Some eating places, as an illustration, already use aluminum and plastic containers.
A one-year exemption is offered for any meals supplier who believes it can expertise monetary hardship or different difficulties as a result of ban. Suppliers can apply to the town for the exemption.
Brandon Kaysen, Ventura’s environmental supervisor, mentioned Thursday the town’s environmental sustainability division will work with suppliers who select the exemption to attempt to get them into compliance.
“But when a restaurant or enterprise is unwilling to work with us after a yr,” metropolis code enforcement may situation the supplier a written warning and the enterprise may finally be administratively fined, he mentioned.
“However we do not actually have any intention to positive our eating places and companies,” Kaysen mentioned.
A minimum of some Ventura meals suppliers are taking the looming ban in stride.
“We really removed all of our Styrofoam merchandise a couple of yr in the past,” mentioned Brett Hyatt, the final supervisor of Yolanda’s Mexican restaurant in Ventura. “So, this does not have an effect on us too, an excessive amount of.”
He mentioned the restaurant now makes use of aluminum or plastic containers with plastic lids for its take-out orders.
Yolanda’s stopped utilizing expanded polystyrene merchandise largely for presentation causes, Hyatt mentioned.
“For lots of our merchandise, it did not maintain up actual properly,” he mentioned. “We now have fairly giant takeout orders and it isn’t fairly as sturdy and would not package deal as properly. So only a mixture of all these components.”
Sam Lee, assistant supervisor at Masa Sushi in Ventura, mentioned he wasn’t conscious of the pending ban, noting the restaurant makes use of Styrofoam containers for take-out orders.
“I believe it sounds fairly unhealthy, would not it?” he mentioned.
Lee mentioned he did not know what the restaurant will use to package deal to-go orders as soon as the ban goes into impact.
“That is the proprietor’s choice,” he mentioned.
Beginning in 2022, Thousand Oaks retailers shall be banned from utilizing or promoting single-use disposable plastic merchandise, together with Styrofoam, underneath an ordinance adopted by the Metropolis Council in October.
Ojai enacted its ban in 2014.
For extra data on Ventura’s ban, together with sources to assist companies adjust to the ordinance and to use for the one-year exemption, go to cityofventura.ca.gov/EPSBan or e-mail the town at [email protected]
Mike Harris covers the cities of Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, in addition to transportation countywide. You may contact him at [email protected] or 805-437-0323.
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