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Help Keep Malibu’s Beaches Free of Polystyrene Foam This Summer

With the busy summer beach season starting this Memorial Day weekend, the City of Malibu reminds visitors, residents and businesses that polystyrene foam is banned in the City and urges everyone to help keep polystyrene foam and other trash off our beaches and out of the environment.

“Malibu is a pro-active and forward-thinking environmental leader, and our ban on polystyrene foam addresses the environmental damage that foam causes,” said Mayor Skylar Peak. “I urge all beach visitors this summer to join us in our effort to protect the beautiful beaches and oceans that we all cherish and enjoy. Please be vigilant about keeping polystyrene foam, and all trash, out of the environment.”

As part of its effort to reduce the huge amounts of polystyrene foam trash that pollute beaches and oceans, and harm marine life and the ecosystem, the City strengthened its 2005 polystyrene foam ban. Starting on January 1, 2017, the law prohibits the sale of any product made from polystyrene foam, the petroleum-based foam that is molded into disposable dishes and cups, takeout food containers, packing materials (foam peanuts), day-use coolers and beach toys. Foam trays used for eggs, meat and fish packaging will be prohibited beginning January 1, 2018.

The goal in banning these materials is to help keep our ocean, beaches, and coastal waterways clean while protecting wildlife. Once released into the environment, polystyrene foam breaks down into tiny pieces that are easily blown into the sea where it is eaten by birds, fish and sea turtles. Even remote Pacific island beaches hundreds of miles away from any cities are littered with thousands of pieces of polystyrene foam, and massive patches of floating plastic in the oceans are filled with polystyrene foam bits.

There are many alternative materials on the market today. Eco-friendly food ware that is recyclable or compostable is allowed in Malibu, and reusable plates and utensils further reduce waste.

For a list of alternative products and more information about the City’s polystyrene foam ban, visit www.MalibuCity.org/NoFoam.

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