NOT in the print edition of the failing Orange County Register today is the following commentary from Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen. The HB City Council votes on the ban this evening (their regular meeting yesterday was rescheduled due to unproductive MLK government holiday). Allen, a Republican who was elected in a landslide to the 72nd Assembly District in 2012, just posted on Facebook:
TONIGHT the Huntington Beach City Council will vote on a ban of styrofoam products in Huntington Beach. The council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 2000 E. Main St. Please read my piece in the Orange County Register speaking out against the proposed ban!
The debate on whether or not the city of Huntington Beach should ban foam food containers and beverage cups will come to a head on Jan. 21, as members of our city council vote to approve or reject the proposal.
The arguments on each side are passionate – Huntington Beach is an environmentally conscious city, and its residents are right to be concerned about ways to keep our beaches clean and environmentally sustainable. A lifelong surfer and conservationist who is concerned about our environment and oceans, I understand what the cities are trying to accomplish with these foam bans. Unfortunately, a ban on foam has unintended repercussions for Californians.
This proposed ban is an attempt to address a very broad and complex litter problem. Banning a single product is not going to solve the issue of
litter and pollution. The solution is furthering the implementation of sound policy decisions and educational programs about recycling initiatives that are already in place in Huntington Beach.
Today, Huntington Beach residents are able to recycle their foam materials in their curbside bins. Since the inclusion of foam in Huntington Beach’s local dispensary recycling program, more than 30 tons of the lightweight product has been recycled. That is more than 60,000 pounds of foam diverted from our landfills. Additionally, the availability of recycled foam is fueling a new green industry in Southern California that uses the recycled foam to make picture frames, crown molding and even surfboards.
It does not make sense to ban a product that is already being successfully recycled in Huntington Beach. Further, if this ban was to be enacted, foam food containers would be replaced with alternatives that often are not recyclable.
We have already seen market forces drive innovation toward biodegradable materials and alternative food service items without the government interjecting itself. Simply put, the unnecessary proposed ordinance being considered in Huntington Beach is an ill-advised attempt at social engineering by imposing costly and burdensome requirements on the residents of the community.
Huntington Beach is home to many small restaurants that instill a sense of local pride to our city, and many of these businesses rely on the affordability and efficiency of foam food containers. Unfortunately, if the ban passes, these family-owned restaurants may be forced to raise customer prices, lay off workers or even close their doors for good, as a ban could double or triple their costs.
With California’s recent increase in sales tax, the Affordable Healthcare mandate and the future rise in minimum wage, our small, family-owned restaurants cannot afford yet another cost burden.
Once again, the HB liberals that dominate its City Council have ginned up this ridiculous legal solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Asm. Allen points out that the city’s recycling program, that’s run profitably by Rainbow Disposal, is already successfully removing this waste from the environment and causing it to be reused.
LIKE THE PLASTIC BAG BAN these idiot liberals and nanny tree-huggers have forced on their residents, another ban of a legal product will provide NO benefit to HB’s taxpayers — just more unnecessary expense and costs to local businesses. Asm. Allen also opposed the bag ban. We’re also aware that a local petition effort has recently begun to have it rescinded.
Per the Huntington Beach Independent today (1/23/14) the bag ban failed on a 4-3 vote: http://www.hbindependent.com/news/tn-hbi-me-0123-city-council-polystyrene-20140122,0,4539185.story. Boardman, Shaw and Hardy were embarrassed by their fellow liberal, Jim Katapodis who voted with the more sensible council members by banning the ban. Katapodis had voted in the past to ban plastic grocery bags.