Opinion » Letters

Polystyrene should be banned in SLO County


As a small group striving to improve lives through environmental awareness and actions, we were shocked and dismayed by the recent Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA) decision to postpone implementing the SLO County ban on polystyrene and expanded polystyrene (aka Styrofoam). This decision is a backward step for environmental responsibility on the Central Coast, and it explicitly runs counter to the message on the IWMA website that notes, "Plastic No. 6 (polystyrene) is a lightweight material that easily finds its way into the environment, where it can leach toxic chemicals." And "Styrene, a component of polystyrene, has been found in 100 percent of human fat tissue samples dating back to 1986. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and suspected to be both cancerous and a neurotoxin for humans."

It is hard to understand why elected officials representing some areas of San Luis Obispo County would choose to repeal an ordinance that is beneficial to the health and well-being of their constituents.

The county ordinance banning polystyrene was passed in 2019 (Ordinance No. 2019-1), and a new county ordinance (Ordinance No. 2021-3-1) to rescind the ban is scheduled for a public hearing and final vote on April 14. We urge all community members who share our concern to participate in this public hearing and let your voice be heard.

Kay Lewis

Creation Care Committee of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

San Luis Obispo

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