The City of San Diego Styrofoam ban for restaurants is on hold -- potentially for the next 6-months.
The California Restaurant Association, Dart Container Corporation and three restaurant owners sued the City of San Diego in March over a law that forced restaurants to stop using Styrofoam. The lawsuit put the ban, which was supposed to go into effect in May 2019, on hold.
The lawsuit claims the city did not do an environmental study confirming that the banning of Styrofoam would be good for the environment.
Recently filed court documents show both the city and those suing the city agreed to hold off on taking the issue to trial so the city can perform the environment study.
“There was never really any enforcement done so, as stated in the ordinance, the early parts of any enforcement would have been education anyways so nobody would have been cited or slapped with a fine at the onset,” says City of San Diego spokesperson Jose Ysea.
The city can’t comment on specifics about the lawsuit because it is pending litigation. Ysea did tell NBC 7 the ban was enacted to help the environment.
“The city is always looking for ways to reduce waste, reduce things that aren’t recyclable and end up in landfills or worse,” says Ysea.
"Antojitos Colombianos" restaurant owner, Javier Rodriguez, is part of the lawsuit challenging the Styrofoam ban. Rodriguez said the ban will increase costs for restaurant owners.
“It’s more than double the price,” says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is also concerned that plastic and paper containers don't work as well.
“The customers can burn themselves because of the heat and the Styrofoam holds the heat in and doesn’t go through,” says Rodriguez.
Both sides are scheduled to be in court in July to discuss the next step in the Styrofoam ban.
There are still Styrofoam bans in cities like Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Imperial Beach.