Styrofoam Ban

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PS6Did you know that San Clemente Adopt-A-Beach team members collected over 125,787 pieces of expanded polystyrene, also known as EPS or Styrofoam, from our beaches in 2009? This debris comes from a variety of places but the majority is flushed from streets and storm drains by storm water where it is then dumped into the ocean and washes up on shore.

EPS is used for many things including take out food containers and to-go cups. These containers are only used for a very brief period of time and are often littered, sometimes unintentionally. Worse, they tend to break up into small pieces which make it extremely difficult to collect once it finds its way into the environment and then persists for an indefinite period of time. Recycling is not viable for EPS food containers as the material is not recyclable when contaminated with food.

In 2004 the City of San Clemente adopted a policy prohibiting the use of EPS food service items at all City facilities, all City sponsored special events and by vendors doing business with the City. Over the years we have received requests from residents to expand this policy Citywide. In response to this request, the City Council adopted an ordinance in January 2011 to prohibit the use of single-use EPS food service ware at all retail food facilities, City facilities, at City sponsored events and by vendors doing business with the City. The ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2011.

The following links provide information to help businesses choose alternatives to EPS for their food containers and find vendors that provide these alternatives. For any questions please contact us via email at or by calling (949) 361-6143.

Flyer Explaining the Polystyrene Ordinance
List of Vendors with Alternative Products
Ordinance Prohibiting the Use of Expanded Polystyrene Disposable Food Service Ware
Undue Hardship Policy
Polystrene Foam Ban

Report Styrofoam Use
Have you recently visited a business in San Clemente that still uses Styrofoam food containers? Click on the link below to file an anonymous report.

Styrofoam Ban Reporting



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