SAN DIEGO (July 11, 2018) — The Rules Committee agenda ITEM-2: Proposed Ban on Polystyrene Foam and Restrictions on Single Use Plastics in the City of San Diego, comes after a May 31st joint press conference. Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry, Councilmember Chris Ward, as well as Surfrider Foundation, Coastkeeper, 5 Gyres Institute and Business For Good leaders announced proposed regulations that would place restrictions on the use of expanded polystyrene (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) and reducing the distribution of other types of single-use plastics in the City of San Diego.
The Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance has been advocated by volunteers of the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego Chapter. Volunteers have successfully advocated for single-use plastic reduction ordinances of EPS in Solana Beach, Encinitas, and Imperial Beach.
The Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego Chapter volunteers collected 12,575 pieces of expanded polystyrene from San Diego County beaches in 2017 alone. Unfortunately, the majority is blown into the ocean because it is light in weight and easily breaks into very small, uncollectible pieces. Once in the ocean, polystyrene is often mistaken as food by marine life and ingestion of the single-use plastics can become fatal.
“Expanded polystyrene food ware containers are negatively impacting the environment, marine life, and the public’s health”, said Michael Torti, Executive Committee Chair of the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter. “Surfrider Foundation’s 250,000 members, volunteers, and advocates support the adoption of the Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance.
The Single Use Reduction Ordinance would restrict the sale and distribution of polystyrene foam products for the use of food service ware, fish and meat trays, egg cartons, and coolers in the City of San Diego. Furthermore, the proposal would make single-use plastic food ware, such as straws and utensils, available only upon request.
The Surfrider Foundation advocates for the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves, and beaches by supporting the reduction of single-use plastics.
The 5 Gyres Institute’s mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education and adventure.