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SLO City Council seeks to reduce plastic bottle use

San Luis Obispo’s city council will meet January 3 to discuss how the city can reduce its use of plastic bottles.

The city has directed staff to research how other communities, like San Francisco, have reduced the number of plastic bottles being used by the city and the public. This includes banning the sale of plastic bottles on city property, or at city sponsored events. Staff will also discuss policies like increasing the number of water fountains across town.

“I think it’s great,” says Wesley Dockstader, a resident of San Luis Obispo. “Thats good we’re taking the initiative when it comes to recycling, and helping the enviroment.”

More than 13 million plastic bottles were purchased by the public in SLO during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, but according to CalRecycle, only 41 percent were recycled. In California, more than 3 billion plastic bottles end up as litter or in landfills annually.

This comes as hundreds of recycling centers across the state are being forced to close due to lack of funding and unprecendented low prices on commodities like glass, aluminum, and plastic.

“Rates are so low,” says Shannon Larrabee of Larrabee Recycling in Santa Maria, which will close its door for good December 30. “Combined with the lack of support from CalRecycle, it makes it extremely difficult for any recycling centers to stay viable.”

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