Ventura restaurants banned from using Styrofoam food containers

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A discarded polystyrene cup lies near the shoreline at Santa Monica Beach in 2006. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A discarded polystyrene cup lies near the shoreline at Santa Monica Beach in 2006. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

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Ventura restaurants no longer will be allowed to use polystyrene and single-use food containers after the City Council voted to ban their use.

The city is the latest to prohibit the use of polystyrene, often known as Styrofoam, in food-service businesses to help reduce litter and harm to marine animals. The material is found in single-use plates, cups and take-out food containers and is neither biodegradable nor recyclable. After heavy rains, polystyrene-made items can be seen in storm drains and on beaches, where tiny pieces often end up in the stomachs of seabirds and marine animals.

Following Monday’s 6-0 vote, with Deputy Mayor Sofia Rubalcava absent, city staff will begin drafting an ordinance requiring that all restaurants use biodegradable or recyclable food packaging. Staff also will research how other cities have banned retailers from selling coolers, plates and cups containing polystyrene, noting that retail stores in the city may face a similar prohibition.

“What’s extra special is current users even agree that it’s the right thing to do,” Mayor Matt LaVere told the council. “There’s community-wide support for this. We all walk on the beach and see it all the time.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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