Do you feel a tinge of guilt when you take out food, and are left with a pile of snow-white Styrofoam?
The Surfrider Foundation feels your pain, as well as the well-documented environmental harms of polysterene products which are so commonly used in local eateries and stores. The Foundation explained in an email this week that “1.25 trillion pieces of plastic pollution” have landed in our ocean. This conclusion is bolstered by the historic research of Long Beach’s Captain Charlie Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Institute and Long Beach Organic. Of course, the issue is easily made evident by visiting the beach and sifting some sand through your hands. Much of it is not sand, but Styrofoam particles!
On Tuesday December 20th at 5pm, the Surfrider Foundation, along with Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez, Jeannine Pearce, and Roberto Uranga, intend to initiate a ban of polysterene products from use city-wide in Long Beach food service (download the agenda item here) The suggested action at city council will also include the creation of a public education and awareness campaign, and financial incentives for businesses who comply. The ordinance would also exempt LBUSD, even though they’re already moving forward on their plan to phase out polysterene products in school meals as well.
We at Long Beach Fresh support this motion as a key component of creating a sustainable and just local food system, and we hope that many of our local food systems leaders and advocates will do so as well! If you are unable to attend the public meeting, please voice your support by sending a letter to your council person using this online form, or by emailing them directly.
We also highly recommend viewing Captain Charles Moore’s famous TED talk to get more insight into the broader issue of plastic pollution in the ocean, linked below!