IRVINE, CALIF. — CITY officials have approved a ban next year on plastic food containers, coolants, solvents, and other products containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that deplete the Earth's ozone layer. According to a city ordinance adopted Tuesday, local businesses will not be allowed to buy, sell, or use products containing CFCs, as of July 1, 1990.
Scientists say CFCs are destroying the Earth's ozone layer, which screens the sun's ultraviolet rays. Researchers say exposure to large doses of ultraviolet rays is harmful to humans, as well as a variety of plants and animals.
The measure, approved by a 4-to-1 vote, is believed to be one of the most comprehensive ever adopted, city officials say.
``We think it is the most far-reaching ordinance in the US,'' says Mayor Larry Agran, who proposed the measure. ``We think it will set the standard nationally and globally.''
Under terms of the ordinance, violators would be fined $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $250 for each subsequent offense. Each day of noncompliance with the ordinance would be considered a violation.
The ordinance also creates the job of environmental program coordinator, a person who would work with businesses to find alternative compounds to those containing CFCs and who would have authority to grant exemptions to the ordinance.
CFCs are found in products such as coolants, cleaning solvents, and plastic food containers, including plastic coffee cups. They have already been banned in aerosol products made in the United States. Companies in this city 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles that are expected to be most affected by the ban include insulation installers, food packagers, fire-extinguisher manufacturers, air-conditioning and refrigeration repair operations, and electronics manufacturers.