Chapter 8.06
EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE

Sections:

8.06.010    Definitions.

8.06.020    Expanded polystyrene disposable food containers prohibited.

8.06.030    Required biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable disposable food containers.

8.06.040    Prohibited sales.

8.06.050    Exemptions.

8.06.060    Violations.

8.06.010 Definitions.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this chapter, shall have the meanings defined in this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

A. “Affordable” means that a biodegradable, compostable or recyclable product may cost up to fifteen percent more than the purchase cost of comparable EPS alternatives.

B. “ASTM standard” means meeting the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) international standard D6400 or D6868 for biodegradable and compostable plastics, as those standards may be amended.

C. “Biodegradable” means compostable (separately defined) or the ability of organic matter to break down from a complex to a more simple form through the action of bacteria or to undergo this process.

D. “City facility” means any building, structure or vehicle owned and operated by the city of San Luis Obispo, its agents, agencies, and departments.

E. “City contractor” means any person or entity that enters into an agreement with the city to furnish products or services to or for the city.

F. “Compostable” means all the materials in the product or package will break down, or otherwise become part of usable compost (e.g., soil-conditioning material, mulch). Compostable disposable food containers must meet ASTM standards for compostable materials.

G. “Disposable food container” is interchangeable with “to go” packaging and “food packaging material” and means all containers that are used to hold prepared food or drinks. Disposable food containers include clamshells, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, and cups that are intended for single use, including, without limitation, food containers for takeout foods and/or leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared by food providers. This does not include single-use disposable items such as straws, cup lids, or utensils, nor does it include single-use disposable packaging for unprepared foods.

H. “Events promoter” means an applicant for any event permit issued by the city or any city employee(s) responsible for any city-organized event.

I. “Expanded polystyrene” or EPS means blown expanded and extruded polystyrene or other plastic foams which are processed by any number of techniques including, but not limited to, fusion of monomer spheres (expanded bead plastic), injection molding, foam molding, and extrusion-blown molding (extruded foam plastic). Expanded polystyrene and other plastic foam is generally used to make cups, bowls, plates, trays, clamshell containers, meat trays, ice chests, shipping boxes and packing peanuts.

J. “Expanded polystyrene products” means any item such as coolers, ice chests, cups, bowls, plates, clamshell containers, shipping boxes, or any other merchandise made from expanded polystyrene that is not wholly encapsulated or encased by a more durable material.

K. “Food provider” means any establishment located within the city that is a retailer of prepared food or beverages for public consumption including, but not limited to, any store, supermarket, delicatessen, restaurant, shop, caterer or mobile food vendor.

L. “Person” means an individual, business, event promoter, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation, nonprofit, including a government corporation, partnership, or association.

M. “Prepared food” means food or beverages, which are served, packaged, cooked, chopped, sliced, mixed, brewed, frozen, squeezed or otherwise prepared within the city. Prepared food does not include raw, butchered meats, fish and/or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar food establishment.

N. “Recyclable” means any material that is specified in the franchise agreement with the city’s solid waste removal provider including, but not limited to, aluminum, tin and bi-metal cans, clear and colored glass containers, high density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), clear or rigid polystyrene, corrugated cardboard and mixed paper.

O. “Vendor” means any store or business which sells or offers goods or merchandise, located or operating within the city of San Luis Obispo, including those referenced in the definition of “food provider.” (Ord. 1617 § 3 (part), 2015)

8.06.020 Expanded polystyrene disposable food containers prohibited.

A. Food providers within the city of San Luis Obispo may not provide prepared food in or provide separately any disposable food container made from expanded polystyrene, except as exempted in Section 8.06.050.

B. Disposable food containers made from expanded polystyrene are prohibited from use in all city facilities.

C. City contractors in the performance of city contracts and events promoters may not provide prepared food in disposable food containers made from expanded polystyrene. (Ord. 1617 § 3 (part), 2015)

8.06.030 Required biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable disposable food containers.

A. All food providers within the city utilizing disposable food containers shall use biodegradable, compostable or recyclable products.

B. All city facilities utilizing disposable food containers shall use biodegradable, compostable or recyclable products.

C. City contractors and events promoters utilizing disposable food containers shall use biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable products while performing under a city contract or permit. (Ord. 1617 § 3 (part), 2015)

8.06.040 Prohibited sales.

No vendor or events promoter in the city may sell or otherwise provide any expanded polystyrene product which is not wholly encapsulated or encased within a more durable material, except as exempted in Section 8.06.050. This specifically includes, but is not limited to, cups, plates, bowls, trays, clamshells and other products intended primarily for food service use, as well as coolers, containers, ice chests, shipping boxes, packing peanuts, or other packaging materials. (Ord. 1617 § 3 (part), 2015)

8.06.050 Exemptions.

A. The city manager or designee may exempt a food provider from the requirements set forth in Section 8.06.020(A) for a single, one-year period upon the food provider showing, in writing, that this chapter would create an undue hardship or practical difficulty as evidenced by no alternatives being available or such alternatives are not affordable. The city manager or designee shall put the decision to grant or deny a one-year exemption in writing, and the decision shall be final.

B. Exemptions to allow for the sale or provision of expanded polystyrene products may be granted by the city manager or designee, if the vendor can demonstrate in writing a public health and safety requirement or medical necessity to use the product. The city manager or designee shall put the decision to grant or deny the exemption in writing and the decision shall be final.

C. An exemption application shall include all information necessary for the city manager or designee to make a decision, including but not limited to documentation showing factual support for the claimed exemption. The city manager or designee may require the applicant to provide additional information.

D. The city manager or designee may approve the exemption application in whole or in part, with or without conditions.

E. Foods prepared or packaged outside the city and sold inside the city are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

F. Raw meat, fish and other raw food trays are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

G. Products made from expanded polystyrene which are wholly encapsulated or encased by a more durable material are exempt from the provisions of this chapter. Examples include surfboards, life preservers, and craft supplies which are wholly encapsulated or encased by a more durable material, and coolers encased in hard plastic.

H. Construction products made from expanded polystyrene are exempted from this chapter if the products are used in compliance with Title 15, Buildings and Construction, and Chapter 12.08, Urban Storm Water Quality Management and Discharge Control, and used in a manner preventing the expanded polystyrene from being released into the environment.

I. In a situation deemed by the city manager to be an emergency for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, city facilities, food providers, city contractors and vendors doing business with the city shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

J. Expanded polystyrene packaging products which have been received from sources outside the city may be reused to be kept out of the waste stream. (Ord. 1617 § 3 (part), 2015)

8.06.060 Violations.

A. Any violation of the provisions of this chapter by any person is subject to administrative fines as provided in Chapter 1.24, which may be appealed pursuant to the procedures in that chapter.

B. For the first violation, the city manager or designee may allow the violating food provider, in lieu of payment of the administrative fine, to submit receipts demonstrating the purchase after the citation date of biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable products in an amount equal to the amount of the citation.

C. Food providers or vendors who violate this chapter in connection with city permitted special events shall be assessed fines as follows:

1. A fine not to exceed two hundred dollars for an event of one to two hundred persons.

2. A fine not to exceed four hundred dollars for an event of two hundred one to four hundred persons.

3. A fine not to exceed six hundred dollars for an event of four hundred one to six hundred persons.

4. A fine not to exceed one thousand dollars for an event of six hundred or more persons.

B. In addition to other remedies provided by this chapter or by other law, any violation of this chapter may be remedied by a civil action brought by the city attorney, including but not limited to administrative or judicial nuisance abatement proceedings, civil or criminal code enforcement proceedings, and suits for injunctive relief. The remedies provided by this chapter are cumulative and in addition to any other remedies available at law or in equity. (Ord. 1617 § 3 (part), 2015)