On February 3rd, 2009 the City of Monterey successfully adopted an ordinance that prohibits the use of polystyrene materials to be used for take out food applications within city limits. The City of Monterey has seen first-hand the impact of polystyrene foam and plastic litter in our storm drains, in our fields, on our roadways and highways, in our rivers, in the ocean and on our beaches.
Banning polystyrene foam take-out packaging locally will help to address marine pollution by requiring the use of environmentally preferable alternatives while helping to educate business owners and citizens on the positive impact their packaging choices can make. Unlike many other types of packaging, littered polystyrene foam remains permanently in the environment where it breaks into tiny pieces that disperse widely.
A ban may not be a cure-all, but it is a step in the right direction. We want to get people thinking about the far-reaching consequences of the simple decisions made everyday. We want people to consider the life cycle of the products they are buying - what they are made from, the energy that goes into the production and what happens after the garbage truck hauls them away.