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An online petition campaign initiated by a local student calling on San Diego to ban the use of single-use polystyrene foam (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) containers.

Student activist Yenny Zhang, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy High School in Carmel Valley, says she was motivated to start the petition after attending this year’s City of San Diego Green Students' Youth Forum, where city councilmember Marti Emerald suggested launching a petition as a first step in approaching the city about considering a ban.

According to Zhang’s official petition background language:

Polystyrene foam, sometimes incorrectly called Styrofoam, is incredibly wasteful. It is made from petroleum, breaks into tiny pieces that are very hard to clean up, and never biodegrades. It litters our beaches, streets and parks, and is detrimental to aquatic life and land animals that mistake the pieces as food. Many cities in California have already banned plastic foam, and it is one step that we can take to make the earth a better place for our future generations. Many restaurants have taken the initiative to use alternatives such as durable food ware, paper, cardboard and certified biodegradable plastics instead of polystyrene foam. If we have the option to make better choices, why not make those choices?

Zhang admits that her idea will not go over well with the many businesses that rely on polystyrene as a cheap packaging material. She points to a report commissioned by the city of San Jose that finds the cost of biodegradable fiber products increase restaurant costs from 40-100%, or even 300% in the price of a 12 ounce coffee cup. While the percentages are steep, the end costs are still a small part of a product’s actual cost – the coffee cups in question ranged in price from 3 cents for foam to 9 cents for a paper equivalent.

The petition originally started seeking 1,000 signatures on April 18, but that goal was quickly reached and re-set at 2,000. Yesterday (April 29), the 2,000 target was also eclipsed after the left-leaning MoveOn.org site, where the petition was posted, sent out a promotional e-mail to its member list. Zhang now seeks 3,000 respondents. Some of the signatories, however (perhaps as many at 10 or 15 percent) list locations outside San Diego’s city limits, some outside the county entirely.

She plans to present her petition to the city council today, and will ask for support from Mayor Filner and councilmembers.

“I trust that the City Council will be at least receptive to what I have to say,” Zhang tells the Reader, “especially my representative, Sherri Lightner.”

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Comments

SafepathUS June 25, 2013 @ 12:51 p.m.

Thank you for doing such a good cause. You happen to do this at a good time, now with many millions demanding to improve our food marketing concerns.

I am Bryan, I help many families cheap, or for free, for years. I am happy to see you are doing a good job helping the public. "Agenda 21" changes recently, as many openly admit. Is one of the biggest threats to us all; "Monsanto", they admit many times, they want to control world food supply. The have people at federal agencies, and Monsanto, controlling laws, allowing to many bad things in foods. "Natural Remedies" are denied yet never have side effects.

I recently was trying to get a petition for less packaging as we see many other modern countries have years already have. Food packaging is another way of fooling us all and small farms, better quality foods, need to be more in stores too.

Less packaging, helps make more space, for many small farmers, to help many small farms, see much all the hard work, just for good food. Half the shelf space, can be used, for healthier foods.

All these similar concerns help many at once, at a good time when many millions, suddenly realizing, much needs to change, to stop the 12,000 illnesses, we experience, since the pharmacy industry, has manipulated us, into spending billions.

"Farm food families, have noticeably less health problems", a federal judge said on TV, when reporters asked him if "Obama care" was a fair law, "everyone pay for others". And he said, "it is not unconstitutional, not fair to "heartland" states, all farm families, because populated areas have much more health concerns". "Millions against Monsanto GMO (GMO;genetic modified organics)" marched May 25, in 450 cities around the world, was not on TV news, to keep the public quality concerns in the dark, as many say. But many states people, and the Federal Government, are trying to add laws, requiring GMO labels. Less packaging, saves corporations money, saves the environment, with smaller less costly biodegradable, transparent packaging.

Packaged foods use to much empty space. With biodegradable plastic wrapping, as in many modern countries, they have double the shelf space for more options fro more small farms.

Market demands, help many companies change recently, and not on TV, to keep consumers not knowing. We are the 90%, of people, demanding more natural guaranteed products when the label says 'natural'. We fully respect the environment, families, and everyone concerned for quality awareness and much needed improvements.

Sincerely, Arthur Bryan Smith A. B. Smith Architectonics, smith agriculture, cargo logistics, and 20 Yrs. of awards in many types of professions gladly helping others.

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