In Encinitas, CA, yet another city council decided not to go forward in implementing a ban on polystyrene foam. The Encinitas proposal to ban disposable foam containers was initially discussed in an informational meeting on September 28, 2015, where the city council decided to postpone consideration of the ban due to a lack of information and input from stakeholders. Like many other cities, the city council of Encinitas plans to seek input from all of the stakeholders in the ban, including the city’s environmental commission and businesses likely to be affected by the ban.
Although the ban had been previously considered by the city’s Environmental Commission, the local businesses had not been informed about the ban until its recent proposal to the city council and many strongly opposed the ban due to the highly negative effects the ban would have on business.
The initial informational meeting had about 24 attendees, half of whom opposed the ban. The perspectives of the business owners made it very clear that more study and evaluation was needed before the council considered the ban, leading to their decision to table the discussion until further information was provided.
The CEO of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce pointed out that looking out for the interest of business owners was a big step for the city council, and one that he hopes to see done more regarding the consideration of foam bans. The mayor of the city also believes that a larger focus needs to be placed on informing consumers how to safely recycle the foam containers.
Based on the many negative responses to the potential ban, it is clear that the ban in Encinitas will not be able to pass without a fight. With further information, it should become clear that polystyrene foam is fully recyclable and has a place in the city of Encinitas.