At today’s City Council meeting, City Council approved an ordinance to regulate the use and sale of expanded polystyrene (also called EPS, white plastic foam or a.k.a. Styrofoam) food containers and products in the City. Also included in the ordinance is that food providers (restaurants and carry out providers) shall not provide plastic cutlery, plastic beverage straws, or plastic stirrers except upon request.
South Lake Tahoe joins 114 other communities in California who have also adopted similar ordinances. The purpose of this ordinance is to reduce and prevent the presence of this type of litter in the environment and to promote environmentally sustainable practices in the City of South Lake Tahoe.
The ordinance prohibits the use of EPS food and drink containers by food providers in the City and requires that a recyclable, compostable or biodegradable product be used instead. Acceptable alternative products include uncoated paper, coated paper, cardboard, aluminum foil, compostable or “bio-products” and other non-foam, plastic containers with the “chasing arrow” symbol numbers 1–7.
The ordinance also prohibits the retail sale of any EPS product not encased in a more durable material such as disposable foam coolers, cups, plates, bowls and packing peanuts.
The ordinance will be effective six months after adoption which is October 3, 2018. Warnings will be given through April 3, 2019 and citations may be issued thereafter.
A violation of the ordinance by a food provider or vendor is subject to the following administrative fines:
A fine not exceeding $100.00 for a first violation.
A fine not exceeding $200.00 for a second violation of this chapter within one year.
A fine not exceeding $500.00 for each additional violation of this chapter within one year.