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File #: 201134.    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Discussion Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 4/19/2021 In control: Zero Waste Subcommittee
On agenda: 4/27/2021 Final action: 4/27/2021
Title: Policies Regulating Polystyrene on City Property (NB)
Related files: 200551.

Policies Regulating Polystyrene on City Property (NB)


Public Works Community Builders gave a presentation on prohibiting polystyrene on city property.  At a meeting in December 2020, the Zero Waste Subcommittee directed staff to move forward with revising the Purchasing Policy and Real Estate Policy to prohibit polystyrene. A draft ordinance banning single use plastic and polystyrene products has been presented as a separate agenda item. 

State law preempts municipalities from banning polystyrene citywide, but does allow cities to regulate polystyrene on city property. There is a broader statutory preemption for single use plastic bags. The City Attorney’s office recommends that the only rule regarding plastic bags be for direct purchases by the City, such as bags handed out at promotional events. The City cannot regulate or impose a rule for plastic bag use by third parties. In sum, the Purchasing Policy can be revised to state that for direct purchases of containers and bags, such as food containers at the golf course, polystyrene and single use plastic bags shall not be purchased. 

Additionally, the Purchasing Policy can be revised to state that a contract shall not be awarded to a food and beverage provider who uses polystyrene and add a term to the contract prohibiting polystyrene use in the performance of the contract.  Staff recommends that only contractors whose primary function is to provide food and beverages be banned from bringing polystyrene onto city property because the food and beverage provider is the largest generator of the polystyrene.  Staff does not recommend punishing the consumer (i.e. employees of all contractors).  If the policy were to ban all contractors and their employees, the city should also prohibit city employees from bringing polystyrene onto city property because these categories of people are similar and the justification for regulating them would be the same.   

A violation of a contract ter...

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