Maybe your first question is, “what is polystyrene?” Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a foam product that is frequently mistaken as Styrofoam and is most commonly used as food and beverage containers such as bowls, trays, cartons, cups and clamshell/hinged containers. Polystyrene can take up to 500 years or more to naturally decompose.
At our council meeting on Tuesday night, several students from the Youth Leadership Institute addressed the council during our quarterly agenda setting meeting to ask us if we would consider a ban similar to that of San Rafael, Mill Valley, Sausalito, Fairfax and the County of Marin. In fact, about 60 communities in the state have instituted similar bans.
The students are to be commended for their advocacy on this issue and did an excellent job during public comment by requesting that we put the item on a future agenda. The council agreed, and will be discussing the topic in the next few months.
What are your thoughts with regards to a ban? Should Novato adopt an ordinance and if so, how much time should merchants be given before the ban goes into effect? Are there certain polystyrene uses that should be specifically included or excluded?