The Environmental Management Advisory Committee (EMAC) met earlier this month at Florence City hall to go over a potential ban of all products containing polystyrene foam.
Polystyrene foam is sometimes mistakenly referred to as ‘Styrofoam®’, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company.
During the City Hall meeting, members discussed the possible change for local regulations. Some councilmembers agreed with a ban on foam products; however, others did not. Certain councilmembers were concerned about the public’s reaction to a ban as well as the scope of the proposed ban. If approved, the ban would go into effect January 1, 2018.
Section 2A of the ban would prohibit any “person, firm, corporation, partnership, government entity or other organization” from packaging, selling or serving food or beverages in polystyrene foam containers.
Section 2D states that “No person shall possess, use, carry or improperly dispose of any PSF (polystyrene foam) container in any public space, or upon or adjacent to any body of water.”
There are also fines for those that disobey this mandate. Individuals would have to pay $250 for the first violation and then $500 for the second violation.
These could potentially cause those from out of town to be ticketed for bringing polystyrene foam products into Florence from another location. These visitors would technically be in violation of the ban, and would have to pay these fines.
Additionally, a ban does not deter those from littering the alternate product to polystyrene foam. Individuals will continue to dispose of the new product in the same way they did the old product, which doesn’t reduce litter.
Educational programs are the best solutions to help improve the litter problem. Once we break people of their bad habits of littering, then Oregon will be one step closer to a waste-free state.