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Community members urge Paso Robles City Council to address Styrofoam ban 

—Paso Robles High School students from the Wilderness Club, a member of the Paso Robles Youth Commission, and members of SLO Foam Free addressed the Paso Robles City Council on Mar. 20 about revisiting the council’s discussion about a Styrofoam ban. The Paso Robles City Council had previously discussed a Styrofoam ban in July 2017 but refused to take any action to avoid governmental overreach, according to sources.

“Styrofoam products are an environmental, economic, and aesthetic blight to the community of Paso Robles. Its inherent properties like durability and lightness make it both a popular packaging material and uniquely awful litter. It’s estimated that every piece of Styrofoam ever created by mankind still exists on earth, whether it be stored in landfills or floating in the ocean, breaking into smaller and smaller pieces but never disappearing completely. Microbeads of Styrofoam in the oceans are often mistaken by marine animals as small pieces of food and release toxins when ingested – if the animals don’t die from malnourishment they eventually die from toxic exposure,” said PRHS senior and Wilderness Club president Gavin Hughes, who added that the Wilderness Club is one of the oldest clubs at PRHS that has conducted fundraisers, hikes, and nature cleanups.

The ban would affect food and drink containers made of expanded polystyrene. Five cities in San Luis Obispo County have already put this ban in place: Arroyo Grande, Morro Bay, Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach.

The council delegated the city manager, Tom Frutchey, to place a possible Styrofoam ban on a future agenda.

“I know that my peers working alongside me in this effort to ban styrofoam in Paso share the same passion, rooted in the opportunity to grow up in such a beautiful part of California’s central coast. We want to do whatever we can to keep it that way,” said Hughes.

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