Restricting the use of polystyrene foam and requiring it to be replaced with less hazardous, compostable, or readily recyclable products will further protect the public health and safety of Malibu’s residents, as well as its natural environment, waterways, and wildlife.
Polystyrene foam is one of the most commonly found plastic items on beaches and inland creeks, often breaks down into smaller pieces, making it more challenging to recover, and is easily ingested by wildlife. Polystyrene foam does not biodegrade in the environment and may persist for hundreds of years. It is a pollutant that breaks down into smaller pieces that are often mistaken for fish eggs by seabirds and other marine life. Unlike harder plastics, polystyrene contains a chemical used in the production process called “styrene” that is metabolized after ingestion and contaminates the food chain, including humans who consume contaminated marine wildlife.