Fed up with ‘trash islands,’ LA County leaders consider ban on some food containers – California News

Fed up with ‘trash islands,’ LA County leaders consider ban on some food containers – California News


A study to examine a wide-ranging ban on the use of take-out containers, plastic cups and single-use straws was approved unanimously by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, but not before several people spoke out in opposition to the idea.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said that polystyrene, a synthetic material, is used in a variety of food service ware and “is so light that it often blows out of overflowing trash receptacles and ends up in our rivers, streams, and the ocean, where it breaks down into small pieces and can harm human health as well as threaten our ecosystem and wildlife.”

Kuehl held up a large photograph of a “trash island,” that showed mounds of plastic items that clogged up a shoreline. Polystyrene is different than Styrofoam.

“This is what the trash looks like in the ocean,”said Kuehl, who co-authored the motion with Supervisor Janice Hahn to have county departments to assemble a feasibility study.

A proposed ban had been brought up before in 2011, when the county’s Department of Public Works explored the feasibility of using other products. The report concluded that there were viable alternatives, without a high cost to businesses. But the Board held back on a vote, pending a state bill that at the time would have banned polystyrene containers across California. That legislation didn’t move forward and a similar state bill introduced recently also died.

Kuehl noted that 110 municipalities across the Golden State, including Pasadena, Calabasas, Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood, adopted ordinances prohibiting or restricting polystyrene containers and other ware. She said…

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