Costa Mesa bans polystyrene containers at city facilities and events


In a move aimed at encouraging environmentally friendly products, the Costa Mesa City Council voted Tuesday to prohibit the use or purchase of expanded polystyrene food service products at city facilities or during city-sponsored events.

Restrictions on the use of cups and containers fashioned from the material — commonly known as Styrofoam — have become increasingly common among California cities in recent years as part of an effort to limit litter and marine pollution.

“Anybody who’s ever participated in a beach cleanup knows how much we need this,” Councilwoman Sandy Genis said during Tuesday’s meeting.


“There [are] barges of Styrofoam in the Pacific, so we need to do something,” said Mayor Pro Tem John Stephens.

Costa Mesa’s ban does not currently apply to the local SeniorServ Program, which provides meals to older adults. However, at the suggestion of Mayor Katrina Foley and Councilwoman Andrea Marr, the council agreed to put that program in compliance within a year.

The vote to approve the prohibition was 6-0. Councilman Allan Mansoor left the meeting before the item came forward.

Animal service contracts extended

Earlier in the meeting, the council unanimously extended the city’s agreements with Newport Center Animal Hospital and Priceless Pet Rescue, which provide animal shelter and adoption services, respectively.

The extensions are through June 30, 2021, with three additional one-year options. The annual costs of the contracts are $276,000 for Newport Center Animal Hospital and $31,200 for Priceless Pet Rescue.